OSPA Legislative Update (7/13/15)

Early last week, the gavel dropped on the 2015 legislative session.  In many respects, the outcomes advanced opportunities for pharmacists to care for their patients more than in any previous time.  We continue to help professionals and the public understand the significance of these advances, including  new information posted on our website that addresses General Information and FAQs around pharmacists prescribing of birth control.

It is easy to think we were lucky to succeed in the areas we planned for and especially in the areas for which we did not know would be possible.  Yet one is reminded of a perspective often shared that, ‘luck happens to those prepared’.  We had a great profession to ‘sell’, outstanding colleagues throughout the state doing great things every day, strong lobbyists, relationships with other health professionals, awareness of lessons from other states and a core of individuals willing to step forward when needed.  We are absolutely lucky.

This will be the last weekly update of legislation.  The listing below includes closing notes on the most actively watched bills.  Going forward, there should be no question about what can be accomplished with a strong coalition that respects each other’s differences, but builds on commonalities.

Per usual, if you have comments regarding legislation, simply email [email protected].  The OSPA Executive Committee will receive all comments and respond in a timely manner if requested.  

SB 520:  Extends Age for Pharmacist Immunization Down to Age Seven

HB 2028:  Establishes Provider Status for Pharmacists and Explains Clinical Pharmacy Services

SB 93:  Establishes Equal Rules for Dispensing of Chronic Medications

SB 148:  Addition of a Technician Member to the Board of Pharmacy

SB 71:  Increased Reporting Requirements to PDMP

HB 2875: Enhancements to PBM Statute (HB 2123) Passed in 2013

SB 841:  Update of Medication Synchronization


***Extended discussion of legislation above***

(Additional legislation is being tracked by the legislative counsel and legislative committee.  For a full listing, and text of actual bills proposed, use the bill tracking tool described below.)

SB 520:  Extends Age for Pharmacist Immunization Down to Age Seven

Effective now, it is hoped this will help improve very weak immunization rates in Oregon.  The OSPA Annual Convention will include a presentation by Amy Valdez to update practitioners on immunizations, including immunization of adolescents.  Amy was the key colleague to represent this advance in patient care during legislative hearings.  Click here to access testimony used to advance this legislation.  An article published in the Lund Report can be accessed at this site: https://www.thelundreport.org/content/senate-health-moves-let-pharmacists-vaccinate-more-children. (Return to top of page)

HB 2028:  Establishes Provider Status for Pharmacists and Explains Clinical Pharmacy Services

Through passage of this bill, pharmacists are recognized as health care providers and opportunities to engage in direct patient care are dramatically enhanced.  It was top priority for this session and a great outcome was achieved by creating a west coast block of states with provider status. The OSPA Annual Convention will include a focus on assisting pharmacists to begin taking advantage of this opportunity.  Click on the following links for explanatory statements to be used in discussions related to this bill.  CPS Explanatory Statement - and - HB 2028 Statement(Return to top of page)

SB 93:  Establishes Equal Rules for Dispensing of Chronic Medications

Passage of this bill begins to level the playing field, requiring that all pharmacies be allowed to make a 90 day fill when authorized, as opposed to allowing payers to limit this opportunity to network or mail order.   A Lund Report summary is here https://www.thelundreport.org/content/senators-fix-snag-bill-requiring-90-day-supplies-chronic-medications.  Linked here are the original explanatory statement and a subsequent document used on the House floor. (Return to top of page)

SB 148:  Addition of a Technician Member to the Board of Pharmacy

Two pharmacy technicians will be added to the Board of Pharmacy, in spite of support voiced by OSPA/OSHP for an amendment that would have added one technician and one pharmacist to the board.  There is possible support for further expansion of the Board of Pharmacy to include two more pharmacist members in 2016 legislation, if they want to pursue this. (Return to top of page)

SB 71:  Increased Reporting Requirement to PDMP

Reporting requirements for PDMP were changed by this bill.  Negotiations changed the original request for a 24 hour turnaround, which was considered unworkable by the profession, to 72 hours.  (Return to top of page)

HB 2875:  Enhancements to PBM Statute (HB 2123) Passed in 2013

More work will be required to move forward on our one significant unsuccessful legislative effort.  It was introduced to tighten implementation of the breakthrough PBM legislation passed with the support of the association in 2013 (HB 2123).  In the end, we lacked adequate evidence, but got the attention of the insurance commission and a willingness to revisit in 2016.   An explanatory statement for the associations and letter of support from NCPA can be found here. We will need the profession to be active in submitting complaints before we get to the 2016 short session. See documents provided by the insurance commission - PBM Insurance Code and Consumer Complaint Form PBM-2015.
(Return to top of page)

SB 841:  Update of Medication Synchronization

Medication synchronization had been passed previously, but without requirements that would allow for it to be financially feasible.  SB 841 corrected that oversight.  Watch for presentations at OSPA meeting that outline the logistics of assisting patient with synchronization of chronically used medications.  A draft explanatory statement can be found here. (Return to top of page)

HB 2879:  Authority for Pharmacists to Prescribe and Dispense Hormonal Birth Control

An unexpected success, but an important recognition of pharmacists’ contributions. One of the more controversial bills passed this session that has been further complicated by inaccuracies in reporting through local news outlets.  We have posted a summary of the specifics of HB 2879, including a series of FAQs on the association website. (Return to top of page)

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 You may track all of the bills being followed by our legislative counsel and legislative committee, and see the original bill text and current status, using the bill tracking software.  Click here to access bill tracking.