Letter to the editor: Olivia Pennington

Wellness vending machines could expand access to basic healthcare for all Mainers

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 4:00pm

“It was two o’clock in the morning when I woke my parents up with a cough that would rival a thunderstorm. We were out of cough medicine, of course, and they tried desperately with cups of tea and honey to quiet me down, both because they were worried about me and because they wanted to get some sleep.

I was 10 years old and the next day I would be diagnosed with bronchitis, but for now I just needed something to soothe my cough so we could all get some sleep. That’s the thing about living in rural Maine is that all the stores are closed by 8:00 p.m.

What if we hadn’t needed a store?

What if my father had been able to drive a few miles to the closest pharmacy where a Wellness Vending Machine was stationed outside, stocked with cough medicine, ibuprofen, tylenol, emergency contraception, even pepto bismol? We both would’ve been much happier in the morning.

LD37, An Act to Allow the Sale of Nonprescription Drugs in Vending Machines, would allow just that. Open 24 hours a day, wellness vending machines could expand access to basic healthcare for all Mainers. Opponents of women’s health care are trying to derail this bill with misinformation and lies, but we have the power to stop them.

Senator Erin Herbig, District 11, is the Senate Chair of the committee reviewing this bill and she’s the leader we need to get this bill passed.

All Mainers deserve access to basic healthcare, whether it’s emergency contraception or cough medicine and that shouldn’t depend on pharmacy store hours.

To contact Senator Herbig, leave her a message at 1-800-423-6900 and ask her to support LD37 for a healthier Maine.”

Thank you for your time and consideration,


Olivia Pennington lives in Waldoboro