Submitted by Thomas Buckley, RPh, MPH; CSHP Legislative Chair
The Connecticut General Assembly ended their 2018 session on May 8th with a number of bills that included pharmacists and/or pharmacy practice. While there were at least 50 bills that we were actively monitoring that did not pass, the following bills did pass which may affect pharmacy practice, although in some cases not affecting hospital inpatient practice.
AN ACT CONCERNING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS: HB 5384
This bill will impose additional disclosure and reporting requirements on pharmacy benefits managers, health carriers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, the Office of Health Strategy and the Insurance Department concerning prescription drug rebates and the cost of prescription drugs.
PHARMACY AND DRUG CONTROL STATUTES: SB 195
This bill will require pharmacists to maintain perpetual inventories of Schedule II controlled substances.
AN ACT CONCERNING BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS: SB 197
This bill will add biological products to existing law regarding substitution of generic drugs. The pharmacist may dispense an interchangeable biological product, which is therapeutically equivalent – must notify patient and prescriber within 48 hours of change (exempts hospital inpatients)
AN ACT CONCERNING PHARMACIST AND PRACTITIONER COMPLIANCE RATES AND THE ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM: HB 5241
This bill requires the Commissioner of Consumer Protection to review pharmacists’ compliance with PMP requirements.
AN ACT LIMITING AUTO REFILLS OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS COVERED UNDER THE MEDICAID PROGRAM: SB 246
This bill is intended to prevent unnecessary costs and clinical outcomes associated with prescriptions that are unnecessarily automatically refilled.
AN ACT CONCERNING TELEHEALTH SERVICES: SB 302
This bill adds pharmacists as providers who can administer telehealth services and modifies and clarifies patient consent procedures.
In addition to state legislative activity, ASHP has released their analysis of the Administration’s “Drug Pricing Blueprint” which was announced on May 11th. An ASHP issue briefdescribes the Administration’s drug pricing policy proposals, includes their stance on the proposals (including what is promising and what is concerning), and their next steps in working with the Administration in addressing drug costs. HHS has released a site soliciting ideas for reducing drug costs: (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-16/pdf/2018-10435.pdf) ASHP will be submitting comments reinforcing the necessity of engaging pharmacists in these efforts.