VIRGINIA PHARMACY LEGISLATIVE UPDATE MAY 2020
HOW NEW STATE LAWS WILL AFFECT PHARMACY PRACTICE – AND HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
The pharmacy community had a very active and productive session. We led, supported, or engaged in several legislative priorities around pharmacy technician education, advanced pharmacy scope, pharmacy benefit manager reform, drug disposal, and pharmacy reporting requirements.
Below are updates on three main pieces of legislation that will directly affect pharmacists and that VSHP will remain engaged as a stakeholder in the regulatory process. Also included is an update on PBM reform.
Enhanced Pharmacy Technician Education and Training
VSHP was the leader on legislation to enhance the education and training requirements for pharmacy technicians. Last year, we worked extensively with the Board of Pharmacy and other stakeholders to pursue legislation on behalf of the pharmacy community. HB 1304 and SB 830, sponsored by Delegate Keith Hodges and Senator Lynwood Lewis, passed and have been signed the Governor. Below is an outline of the legislation’s provisions.
- To be registered as a pharmacy technician, requires:
- Successful completion of (1) a Board-approved accredited or other legally accepted training program and (2) a national certification examination.
- Accepted training programs include:
- Accredited training program approved by the Board of Pharmacy, including the Virginia Department of Education’s Career & Technical Education programs
- Federal or military program
- Accepted national certification examinations include:
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB/CPhT)
- National Healthcareer Association (ExCPT/CPhT).
- Grandfathers all current registered pharmacy technicians, and delays the accreditation requirement until July 1, 2022 to give training programs time to get up to speed.
- Requires the Board of Pharmacy to promulgate regulations for those who have passed a national certification examination required by the Board but did not complete a Board-approved pharmacy technician training program, who have successfully completed or were enrolled in a Board-approved pharmacy technician training program, or are currently practicing as a pharmacy technician in another U.S. jurisdiction.
- Creates a “pharmacy technician trainee” registered with the Board of Pharmacy for trainees to gain practical experience under the supervision of a pharmacist, only while the trainee is enrolled in an approved training program.
- Requires the Board of Pharmacy to convene a work group to report recommendations on adding duties and tasks of registered pharmacy technicians.
The work group’s report is due by November 1, 2021. VSHP is looking forward to providing feedback on advanced roles and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians that may be considered.
To read the full bill, click here: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+CHAP0102
Advanced Pharmacist Scope
HB 1506 (Sickles) allows pharmacists to initiate treatment with, dispense, or administer the following drugs and devices to adults in accordance with a statewide protocol developed by the Board of Pharmacy in collaboration with the Board of Medicine and the Department of Health and set forth in regulations of the Board:
- Naloxone or other opioid antagonist
- Injectable or self-administered hormonal contraceptives
- Prenatal vitamins for which a prescription is required
- Dietary fluoride supplements
- Medications covered by the patient’s health carrier when the patient’s out-of-pocket cost is lower than the out-of-pocket cost to purchase an over-the-counter equivalent of the same drug
Pharmacists who administer any of these drugs are required to notify the patient’s primary health care provider (PCP) if the patient consents to such notification.
Pharmacists are required to counsel patients who do not have a PCP on the benefits of having a PCP and provide information on access to a PCP, if requested by the patient.
Pharmacists who administer hormonal contraceptives are required to counsel the patient regarding seeking preventative care, including routine well-woman visits, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and pap smears.
The Board of Pharmacy, in collaboration with the Board of Medicine and the Department of Health, will establish related protocols by November 1, 2020, and will promulgate related regulations within 280 days of the effective date of the law, July 1, 2020.
The Board of Pharmacy will also establish a work group to provide recommendations regarding the development of protocols for expanding scope, to include (indications previously included in the introduced legislation that were not incorporated into the final version of HB 1506):
- Drugs for tobacco cessation therapy
- Tuberculosis testing
- CLIA-waived tests and treatments, including influenza virus, Helicobacter pylori bacteria, urinary tract infection, and group A Streptococcus bacteria
- Controlled substances for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus, including controlled substances prescribed for pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis
- Drugs other than controlled substances, including drugs sold over the counter, for which the patient’s health insurance provider requires a prescription.
The work group’s report is due by November 1, 2020. VSHP is looking forward to contributing to this work group.
To read the full bill, click here: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+HB1506ER
HB 1531 (Jenkins) as introduced would have required all pharmacies and hospitals or clinics with an on-site pharmacy to have a mandatory drug disposal program. Pharmacy stakeholders worked with the patron to amend the bill to direct the Board of Pharmacy to enhance public awareness of proper drug disposal methods by assembling a group of stakeholders to develop strategies to increase the number of permissible drug disposal sites and options for the legal disposal of drugs, including requirements that pharmacies, or in-house pharmacies of hospitals or clinics, provide such information to customers.
The work group’s report is due by November 15, 2020. VSHP is looking forward to contributing to this work group.
To read the full bill, click here: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+CHAP0614
Pharmacy Benefit Managers
The General Assembly passed legislation that will require licensure for Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) under the Bureau of Insurance. HB 1290 (Hodges) and SB 251 (Edwards) regulate PBMs and provide more oversight into their business practices.
During the General Assembly’s Reconvened Session, the Senate rejected an amendment we opposed that pharmacists and pro-reform advocates believe would have limited network adequacy and benefited PBMs and insurance carriers.
To view the full bill, click here: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+CHAP0219
VSHP will participate in the work groups for pharmacy technician education and training, pharmacist scope, and drug disposal. In addition, we follow or engage in the Board of Pharmacy’s meetings and regulatory process throughout the year.
Please consider joining VSHP’s Legislative Committee so your voice is heard on matters that affect pharmacists, hospitals, and patients. For more information, please contact VSHP Legislative Committee Chair Natalie Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or VSHP lobbyist Mark Hickman at email@example.com.
If you have additional topics or considerations that you think the VSHP Legislative Committee should prioritize for the 2020 – 2021 cycle, please do not hesitate to reach out to Natalie Nguyen or Mark Hickman.
Please also make a contribution to our political action committee, VSHP PAC, to help us continue to build strong relationships with legislators. To make a contribution, visit https://www.vshp.org/Advocate or mail a check payable to VSHP PAC to 118 N. 8th Street, Richmond, VA 23219 with your full name, address, employer, and principal place of business. For questions about VSHP PAC, please contact VSHP PAC Chair Lisa Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Hickman at email@example.com.