August Legislative Update
Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs
It's August already and even though the State Legislature is on its summer break, it's still a good time to keep them updated on issues that are important to you and the profession of pharmacy. We have two pieces of legislation that we would like to see become law before the end of the year.
HB 524: Pharmacist Immunization, sponsored by Rep. Earl Martin (R-Avon Lake), expands the Pharmacy Practice Act. The bill was passed unanimously by the House in May, and was assigned to the Senate Health, Human Services and Aging Committee. HB 524 would make the following changes to current statute:
1. include diphtheria, pertussis and meningitis in the list of adult immunizations pharmacists are allowed to administer;
2. allow pharmacists to administer the flu vaccine to those 14 and older;
3. allow pharmacists to administer epinephrine and diphenhydramine to a patient in the event of an anaphylactic reaction;
4. expand the list of qualified professionals able to administer vaccinations to include trained pharmacy interns acting under the direct supervision of a trained pharmacist;
5. remove the requirement for pharmacists to notify the patient's primary care physician or local health department within 30 days after providing the influenza immunization except in the case of a person 18 years or younger.
It is important that the President of the Senate, Senator Bill Harris, and the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Kevin Coughlin, understand the importance of this bill, and the urgency of passing it before the General Assembly ends in December. We encourage all of you to contact Senate President Bill Harris (614.466.8086) and Chairman Coughlin (614.466.4823) and urge them to schedule hearings for the bill as soon as possible, given the shortened legislative season.
We also urge you to contact all members of the Senate Health Committee, encourage them to vote for the bill when it comes before them in the fall, because it will help increase immunization rates in Ohio. The following web address will take you to the list of Senate Health Committee members: $$Link
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HB 618: Donated Drugs Bill, sponsored by Rep. Shawn Webster (R-Hamilton), would allow colleges of pharmacy in Ohio to accept donated and expired drugs for instructional purposes. These donations would be made by manufacturers, wholesalers, and pharmacies, not individuals patients with leftover medication. No controlled substances are involved. We worked closely with the Board of Pharmacy and the colleges of pharmacy in Ohio in drafting and introducing this bill. The following link will take you to the full context of the bill: $$Link
HB 618 has been assigned to the House Health Committee, which is chaired by Rep. John White. It's important that the members of this committee hear from you about the importance of this bill and the potential savings, not only to colleges of pharmacy in the state, but to the State of Ohio as well.
House Health Committee members can be accessed at $$Link
September 30 Deadline for Federal Meth Law
September 30, 2006 is the final compliance deadline for the federal Combat Meth Act of 2005.
Federal requirements effective September 30, 2006:
1. Behind-the-Counter Placement. All pseudo-ephedrine (PSE) products (both single and multi-ingredient) must be placed behind any counter that is not accessible to purchasing consumers or in a locked display case that is located on the selling floor. Retailers must give the product directly to the purchaser.
2. Logbook. Retailers must maintain a logbook of information on transactions involving all PSE products. The logbook may be maintained in either written or electronic form.
3. Photo ID. In conjunction with the logbook requirement, retailers will be required to ask for photo identification, issued by either a State or the Federal Government or other appropriate identification.
4. Training & Certification. Retailers must train applicable sales personnel to ensure that they understand the requirements of PSE product sales and submit self-certifications to the Attorney General in this regard.
Retailer Training and Certification
a. Retailers must train all individuals who are involved in the sale of PSE-products to ensure that these persons understand the requirements that apply.
b. U.S. Attorney General will issue regulations on the training criteria.
2. Training Certification
a. Retailers must certify that all retail store employees who conduct PSE sales transactions have been trained.
b. Retailers must maintain certifications and records to confirm employee training.
c. Certifications must state that the retailer understands the legal requirements and agrees to comply with them.
d. Separate certifications are required for each place of business.
e. U.S. Attorney General will establish certification criteria through the regulatory process, but must provide for self-certifications.
f. State and local officials will have access to certifications.
g. Effective date for training has not been determined.
3. Implementation. Retailers will be able to submit self-certifications over an Internet website to be established by DEA and receive acknowledgement of that submission.
At the time of print, the Federal Government has not yet released the rules regarding the training certification portion of the federal Combat Meth Act of 2005. OPA will continue to follow this law closely and will let members know of the rules as they are released.