The last day of the 2016 Colorado Legislative Session was May 11, 2016. Value Pharmacists monitored/lobbied 4 bills affecting pharmacy. Although you may reside in a state other than Colorado, these issues could be in your backyard in the not too distant future. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like more details.
HB 1361 – Concerning the Ability of a Person Eligible for Prescription Drug Benefits to Choose the Pharmacy at Which to Fill a Prescription Drug Order
This bill was sponsored by Representatives Primavera and Becker and Senators Sonnenberg and Newell, passed the House on a vote of 34-31 and died in the Senate Finance Committee on a vote of 2-3. The bill would have prohibited health benefit plans and pharmacy benefit managers from
- Limiting or restricting a covered person’s ability to select the pharmacy or pharmacist of their choice
- Prohibit imposing a co-payment, fee or other cost sharing requirement for selecting a pharmacy
- Imposing other conditions that would limit or restrict a person’s ability to use the pharmacy of their choosing
- Denying a pharmacist or pharmacy the right to participate in any of its network contracts if the pharmacist or pharmacy agree to specified conditions.
Great testimony was provided by pharmacists who traveled all the way from Pueblo and Southeastern Colorado to spend the day at the Capitol, including Tom Davis, Ky Davis and Tom Bratz. Tony Gagliardi, National Federation of Independent Business state director for Colorado, and I, on behalf of IPC, also testified in support of the bill. Consumers provided compelling testimony describing the challenges they experienced when asked to switch pharmacies by the insurer or PBM, but it was not enough to secure the one swing vote necessary to get the bill out of committee. There was a positive result from this defeat. With the introduction of this bill, we learned that other health care providers might be interested in joining us in supporting a more comprehensive bill in the next legislative session.
SB 135 – Concerning a Pharmacist’s Provision of Health Care Services that have been Delegated by Another Health Care Provider
This bill, now an Act waiting for the Governor’s signature, was sponsored by Senator Aguilar and Representative Ginal and passed the House and Senate unanimously. This bill adds a Part 6 – Collaborative Pharmacy Practice to the Colorado Pharmacy Practice Act. Part 6 defines a collaborative pharmacy practice agreement and all the conditions necessary for a pharmacist to enter into this agreement. The Colorado Boards of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy along with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment will be promulgating rules implementing this new section, including the identification of the healthcare services and the criteria governing statewide drug therapy protocols. The act also amends the Colorado Insurance Code permitting health plans to provide coverage for health care services provided by a pharmacist under specific treatment protocols and identifies the requirements that need to be met for this to occur. This act will become effective August 10, 2016.
SB 62 – Concerning Modifications to the Regulation of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals
This bill, now an Act waiting for the Governor’s signature, was sponsored by Senator Marble and Representative Becker and passed the Senate 30-5 and the House 65-0. This bill was originally introduced in the Senate and had 3 sections. Section 1 required the Governor to appoint two more members to the board of pharmacy who were engaged or were interested in veterinary medicine. Section 2 removed the sale of veterinary devices from the board of pharmacy’s purview and Section 3 reduced the civil penalty for unlawfully distributing a veterinary drug. The final act eliminated all of section 1 and replaced it with the creation of an advisory committee consisting of three members – a veterinarian, a veterinary wholesaler and an individual who has a background in agriculture and is not a pharmacist, veterinarian or wholesaler. This advisory committee will make recommendations to the state board of pharmacy concerning issues related to veterinary pharmaceuticals. Section 2 and Section 3 remained with a few slight modifications. This act takes effect July 1, 2016.
HB 1324 – Concerning the Availability of Compounded Pharmaceutical Drugs For Use by a Veterinarian to a Treat a Patient’s Emergency Condition
This bill, now an Act waiting for the Governor’s signature, was sponsored by Representative Ginal and Senator Sonnenberg and passed the House and Senate unopposed. The bill allows the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy to promulgate rules authorizing both resident and non-resident pharmacies to compound prescription drugs for veterinarian office use. If the compounded prescription drug is a controlled substance, then the pharmacy will be required to have a manufacturing registration from the DEA. Non-resident pharmacies will be required to submit inspection reports from their state’s regulatory agency as well as from a third party inspector chosen by the board of pharmacy. The bill describes the conditions that the veterinarian must meet in order to dispense the compounded drug, specifically only for emergency use with a limit of a 5 day supply. Although the bill passed the House and the Senate unopposed, the bill was amended in the Senate and needed to go back to the House for concurrence where concurrence was unanimous. This act becomes effective August 10, 2016.
Value Pharmacists will continue to contribute efforts to achieve favorable outcomes for pharmacists on these and future bills. Current descriptions of our endeavors are shown on our Projects page.