Complete Story

Pharmacy Is on the Front Burner in New Legislature!

Prescription Drug Pricing by ODJFS...

Legislative Update April 2003
Ernest Boyd, Pharmacist, CAE, Executive Director

Senate Bill 14
The new legislative session is up and running, and, once again, pharmacy is on the front burner. One of the first bills introduced was Senate Bill 14, which requires the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to establish prices for prescription drugs. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Bob Hagan, is strongly supported by AARP, AFL-CIO and other consumer groups that are concerned about prescription drug prices. These groups have sponsored a petition drive to collect over 145,000 signatures to force the legislature to consider the bill. It is likely that the legislation will be considered and voted on. OPA is meeting with the interested parties to let them know how this price-control measure will cause harm to consumers because the prices would be fixed, and, once again, there would be little opportunity for pharmacists to see these prices rise. We will keep you informed as this bill takes shape.

Senate Bill 43
The most important legislation that OPA has had introduced so far is Senate Bill 43, whose primary sponsor is Senator Bob Spada (R-Parma Heights). This is the legislation that requires insurance companies to put all the information you need to process a claim on the insurance card, when they issue their next card to insureds. It is important that you contact your legislator to let him/her know how much trouble you have processing claims when this information is not included. Some in the insurance industry are saying that the legislation is not needed, since no pharmacists have complained. The co-sponsors on the legislation include Senators Bob Gardner (R-Madison), Lou Blessing (R-Cincinnati), Kevin Coughlin (R-Cuyahoga Falls), Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), Jeff Jacobson (R-Brookville), Eric Fingerhut (D-Cleveland), Greg DiDonato (D-Scio), Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon), Bill Harris (R-Ashland), Robert Schuler (R-Cincinnati), and Marc Dann (D-Youngstown). If one of these Senators is yours, please call their office (614.466.2000) and thank them for co-sponsoring the legislation. Be sure to let your Senator know how important this legislation is to your patients.

Senate Bill 6
Another bill involving pharmacy is Senate Bill 6, the bioterrorism legislation. OPA testified in favor of this legislation, since it lists pharmacists as one of the health care providers who are critical in the bioterrorism issue. It requires pharmacists to report high sales of items such as OTC antidiarrheals, that may be an early indicator of an attack in a particular area of the state. If you notice high antibiotic usage, or other indicators of a possible problem, the legislation wants you to report to local or state health officials.

Meet Your Legislators
Please take advantage of any opportunity to meet your state senators and representatives. They often appear between Friday and Monday at local events, and you have the chance to say hello. Consider contributing to their campaign, especially since Ohio grants you a $50 TAX CREDIT for a donation to a state representative or state senator’s campaign.

Pharmacy Legislative Day
OPA is planning Pharmacy Legislative Day for late 2003. We also appreciate e-mails or letters letting us know what legislator(s) you know, and what your relationship is to that legislator. To let us know who you know securely online, $$Link,AWS_SSL:DisplayInputForm&FormID=18,CLICK HERE!$$
We appreciate your continued help and support.

OPA Welcomes New Staff Member
The Ohio Pharmacists Association is pleased to announce the addition of Kelly Vyzral to its legislative staff. Kelly joins OPA in the position of Director of Government Affairs.

Kelly, a graduate of The Ohio State University, worked for more than seven years as a legislative aide in the Ohio Legislature. Most recently, she served in the capacity of Associate Director of Government Relations for the Ohio State Medical Association.

“We’re very pleased to have Kelly join our team here at OPA,” said Ernie Boyd, OPA’s Executive Director. “She brings with her a good deal of relevant legislative experience, including an understanding of issues central to the interests of pharmacists. Additionally, her dedication, energy, and creativity will serve the members of OPA well.”

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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