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September Legislative Update

Combat Meth Act of 2005

Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs


Combat Meth Act of 2005
The final implementation of the federal methamphetamine law goes into effect September 30, 2006. This includes behind-the-counter placement, logbook, photo ID, and self-training and certification of employees.

The DEA recently released training materials that pharmacies must use to train employees on the new restrictions. While retailers may supplement the training materials with additional materials of their own, retailers MUST use the DEA materials to train their employees. As mentioned above, as of September 30, 2006, all retailers selling ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine products must train their employees on the new restrictions in order to continue selling these products.

Two sets of training materials have been developed, one set for mobile retailers (e.g., temporary kiosks at airports) and one set for non-mobile retailers (e.g., pharmacies). The DEA training materials are posted on their website at $$Link

DEA training for Non-Mobile Retail Vendors:  $$Link

DEA training for Mobile Retail Vendors: $$Link

The following link is to a draft form that can be used to document the training of your employees: AcknowledgementOfTraining9_06


0$$ has a supplemental program titled, MethGuard: Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. It is available for $19.95 and has been approved for 0.1 CEU. Please note that this program has not yet been approved for Ohio jurisprudence CE credit.

More information on the requirements going into effect September 30, 2006, may be found in the August 2006 issue of the Ohio Pharmacist journal.

The Merck Adult Immunization Program Available to Pharmacists Nationwide
The Merck Adult Vaccine Program was recently launched and is designed to expand access to adult vaccines through pharmacies and vaccine service providers. A major component of the Merck Adult Vaccination Program is a directory for interested health care professionals to use when looking for community pharmacies that provide vaccination services for Merck adult vaccines within a geographic area. This directory will be promoted to interested physicians and others by Merck professional representatives beginning in mid-August. Any pharmacy interested in participating, and that agrees to the terms and conditions of the program, may enroll.
For more information, go to the following links.
Announcement letter: $$Link
The program's terms and conditions: $$Link

South East Ohio Regional Expansion of Medicaid Managed Care Set for September, 2006
Ohio's Southeast region (including Athens, Belmont, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Vinton, Washington counties) is next in line for the statewide expansion of Medicaid managed care for the Covered Families and Children (CFC) population. In September 2006 nearly 100,000 consumers will be notified of their health plan choices. CareSource, Molina and Unison, the Medicaid managed care plans for this region, will start covering Medicaid consumers on October 1, 2006. Most consumers in this region will be enrolled by November 1, 2006. This announcement is especially significant since this area includes many counties in the Appalachian district that have historically had difficulties with access to health care. In years past, managed care plans have faced challenges in developing Medicaid business in this part of the state.

Medication Therapy Management Update
Community Care Rx (CCRx) and Humana have both instituted medication therapy management (MTM) programs nationwide. CCRx will utilize Community MTM Services, Inc. (CMTM), a Web-based communications service that will facilitate the delivery of MTM and other patient care services by community pharmacists. CCRx MTM sessions are budgeted to reimburse pharmacists for a consultation that should last 30 minutes. Patients using the Humana MTM program will be eligible for either a call-center-based nurse consultation or a face-to-face consultation with a community pharmacist based on a case-by-case review. Under both programs, pharmacists are compensated for this valuable service. This is an opportunity for pharmacists to expand their patient care services and show their value as health care providers.

For more information about CMTM, please visit $$Link
0$$. For more information on the Humana MTM program, please visit $$Link

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) recently announced the introduction of the Pharmaceutical Case Management (PCM) program. In this program, several pharmacists will be working in a collaborative practice setting with the managing pediatric pulmonologists for several children. The goal of the program will be to assist in the patient care management of children with moderate to severe asthma.

The pharmacists will, for the most part, be working with the patients at the physicians' practice sites. These pharmacists will be able to bill directly for their services using a Health Care Financing Administration 1500 form and utilizing Current Procedural Terminology codes of either 99213 or 99214, depending on the nature of the services provided to the patient during the visit.

The process will be reviewed jointly by both the ODH and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) along with Ohio Northern University's College of Pharmacy. Designated sites where services are to be provided include the Children's Hospitals in Akron, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo, as well as a private pharmacy in Youngstown.

The project involves a joint effort between three ODH bureaus: BCMH, the asthma program in the Bureau of Environmental Health, and the Bureau of Health Services Information.

The Ohio Medicaid program will contribute information for the project as well. As this is the first program of its kind in Ohio, the ODH will be studying the possibility of replicating such services at additional sites for strengthening the scope of care for participants enrolled in other governmental health plans.

HB 595 Epilepsy Drugs
Rep. Schneider (R-Cincinnati). This bill states that if an epilepsy drug is substituted with a generic, the pharmacist must notify the patient and obtain a signed form indicating whether or not he/she accepts the substitution. While it is current law that the pharmacist must notify the patient of any generic switches that are made, OPA feels that the written mandate in this bill places more undue burden and record keeping on pharmacists. With the Board of Pharmacy firmly behind this legislation, it seemed as though it was on a fast track. OPA met with the sponsor, and has agreed to meet with the Ohio Epilepsy Foundation to discuss ways that patients can be assured that they are being notified when medications are switched without requiring onerous legislation.

Final DME Quality Standards
Thank you to all the pharmacists who answered our request for comments on the proposed CMS rules for DME suppliers. OPA also submitted comments speaking to the burdensome accreditation process and competitive bidding requirements for pharmacists wishing to continue dispensing and providing durable medical equipment, diabetes supplies and diabetes self management services.

CMS recently released the final quality standards for DME suppliers. According to the new rules, DME suppliers will be required to comply with the quality standards in order to obtain a supplier number and obtain reimbursement under Medicare Part B. Compliance with the quality standards will also be required to participate in the Medicare DME competitive bidding program.

The final New Quality Standards are posted on the CMS website at: $$Link


Competitive Acquisition Authority: $$Link

Accreditation for the Competitive Bidding Program: $$Link

OPA will be making a major push on Medicaid in rule and statute. We are currently seeking a sponsor for legislation that would increase the Medicaid dispensing fee to $15 for generics. That would allow costs to be met, would encourage the use of the less-expensive generics, and would let pharmacies make a profit. Louisiana just passed similar legislation.

We will also be addressing the faster updating of prices in the Medicaid computer for brand name drugs. OPA thinks it's time Ohio recognized that many pharmacies, which provide thousands of jobs in Ohio, are in critical financial condition as a result of the implementation of Medicare Part D, Medicaid and the various state run discount programs. Pharmacies are closing and Ohioans are losing access to an important part of their healthcare.

If you have any questions or comments about the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs, at 614.586.1497 or

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