Department of Health and Hospitals announced today Medicaid participants in impacted areas will have access to their prescription medications prior to scheduled refill dates in preparation for Hurricane Gustav.  Effective immediately, pharmacies will be authorized to process prescription refills early in those areas.

"People need to heed the advice of local leaders to be prepared, and that means they need to ensure they have a 30-day supply of their prescription medications in case it is not available after the storm," said DHH Secretary Alan Levine.

Citizens who rely on prescriptions should pay particular attention to prescriptions they are using to treat chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart conditions to assure they are not without these important maintenance medications.

During Katrina, many people evacuated without their prescription bottles or a list of their medicines.  This led to confusion among residents as well as the medical community which was trying to care for them without important medical documentation.  In order to minimize the number of residents who could find themselves in such a difficult situation, DHH is urging residents to heed the following advice: