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—We appreciate Dr Appel's comments about epilepsy, another disease for which recently arrested prisoners may not have access to medication, and we agree with his assertion that prisoners are likely to complain when their medications are confiscated. Diabetic patients usually do not carry their insulin with them, so some method of storing and dispensing medication on-site at the holding areas is essential to prevent continued unnecessary hospitalizations for diabetic ketoacidosis. The quoted statement in Dr Appel's letter describes the current situation, which we agree is unacceptable. The merit of Dr Appel's interesting suggestion for an interim solution should be assessed by public officials responsible for reform; however, we believe a permanent resolution of the problem will require on-site medical care for newly arrested prisoners.
Keller AS, Link RN, Bickell NA, Charap MH, Kalet AL, Schwartz MD. Prisoners' Access to Medications-Reply. JAMA. 1993;269(19):2507-2508. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500190049031