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June Legislative Update

Freedom of Access, Dangerous Drug Database , Compounding Requests


HB 253: Freedom of Access.
One of the most important pieces of legislation we will be working on the remainder of this legislative session is the Freedom of Access bill. Sponsored by Rep. Tom Patton, this legislation prohibits mandatory mail order. It would prohibit a health insuring corporation policy or contract or individual or group policy of sickness and accident insurance that includes coverage for prescription drugs from excluding nonparticipating pharmacies from the network as long as the nonparticipating pharmacy has agreed to meet the terms and conditions set in the contract. This legislation will go a long way in protecting you and your pharmacy from mail order mandates. OPA will continue to work with the sponsor to make sure that this legislation contains all the provisions needed to meet the needs of pharmacists in Ohio.

HB 377: Dangerous Drug Database
This bill directs the State Board of Pharmacy to create and maintain a drug database for controlled substances and certain other drugs to be named later. It would require pharmacists and wholesale distributors of dangerous drugs to submit information to the Board of Pharmacy on certain drugs sold in the state. Those opposed to this bill argue that pharmacists will be unfairly targeted. The lack of funding and privacy concerns are two issues around which opposition revolves. Although this legislation recently passed the House, without identifying a reliable and adequate funding stream, the future of this legislation in the Senate is in question.

SB 196: Compounding Requests
Sponsored by Sen. Wachtmann, this bill would allow for multi-dose non-patient specific compounding. The OPA Compounding SIG reviewed this legislation and decided to take a neutral position. They had many concerns, including the safety of the compounded drugs after they leave the pharmacy, and the opportunity this might give out-of-state manufacturers to begin shipping product into the area. The Board of Pharmacy, which strongly opposes this bill, contacted the sponsor of the legislation stating its concerns that this bill is in direct conflict with federal law. Until these concerns are answered, it is doubtful that the bill will proceed farther. At the time of publication, the interested parties were trying to work out a compromise.

Ohios Best Rx
Two and a half months ago, the Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) released an RFP (Request for Proposal) to invite vendors to send in bids to administer this prescription drug program. Only two companies sent proposals, MemberHealth that runs the Golden Buckeye Card drug discount card plan, and Envision Pharmaceutical Services Inc. Neither bid was deemed adequate, and the department re-released the RFP on May 14, 2004 making some changes in the mail-order component hoping to attract more qualified bidders. This will significantly push back the original roll out date.

If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs, at 614.798.0037, or kvyzral@ohiopharmacists.org.


What is the Ohio Pharmacy PAC?
The Pharmacy Political Action Committee is a voluntary, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of pharmacists who are interested in promoting good government and public health. Pharmacy PAC money contributed by pharmacists goes to help candidates who support pharmacy in Ohio. That's right, your money is used to support political clout for Pharmacy right here in Ohio!

To make a secure online donation to the Ohio Pharmacy PAC, $$Link,AWS_SSL:DisplayInputForm&FormID=37, CLICK HERE!$$

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