submitted by Thomas Buckley, CSHP Legislative Chair
With one month to go in the Connecticut legislative session, there are a number of bills that we are following and are close to being at the end of their journeys. SB 921, the APRN scope of practice bill that includes allowing pharmacists to collaborate with APRNs (in addition to physicians) in the current collaborative practice (CDTM) law, has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House. You can help assure this bill is passed by calling or emailing your State House member and urge them to pass it in the House chamber. Here is the link to the legislation, which includes the history of the bill and the bill language. The pharmacist/APRN collaborative practice language in this bill is Section 22. https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2019&bill_num=921
HB 6543, the bill allowing pharmacists to prescribe tobacco cessation products, received a public hearing in the Public Health Committee. Despite outstanding oral testimony and presence at the hearing by our members, and numerous written testimonies submitted, due to the Public Health Committee’s full agenda, the bill failed to make it out of committee, and we will advocate for prescriptive authority next year.
Two other bills we are following are ready to be voted on in the Senate. SB 94 allows pharmacists to administer influenza vaccine to children ages 12-17, with the consent of their parent or guardian. SB 48 requires brand name drug manufacturers to make available samples to generic drug manufacturers so they can conduct testing required to support an application for generic drug approval.
The effort to legalize recreational marijuana is comprised of multiple bills in various committees. We continue to monitor this activity and its potential impact on current medical marijuana pharmacist dispensaries. As of early May, three legislative committees have passed companion bills that would legalize, regulate and tax cannabis for use in ages 21 and older. There is still a great deal of policy details that needs to be worked on, and it’s unclear if full passage would occur before the end of the regular session. The legislative session ends on June 5, and we will be continually apprised of legislative updates.