November Legislative Update: Paramedics Administering Vaccines, Tracking PSE Sales, APN Prescribing
Pharmacy Legislative Day
Thank you to all the members and students who turned out for OPA/OSHP’s Pharmacy Legislative Day on Tuesday, September 20. You made it a huge success. Pharmacy issues are on the front burner right now, and it’s important for the legislature to know that our members are informed and involved.
The goal of Pharmacy Legislative Day was to communicate the value of pharmacy to state legislators and address issues that affect the practice of pharmacy in Ohio. This year pharmacists heard from top legislators in both the House and Senate, including the Speaker of the House Bill Batchelder, Senate President Tom Niehaus, Chairman of the House Health Committee Lynn
Wachtmann, and Senator Dave Burke, the only pharmacist member of the Ohio legislature.
Kyle Parker, R.Ph., MBA, Licensing Administrator for the Board of Pharmacy, gave us an in-depth update of recent and proposed changes in state laws and rules. Pharmacy Board rules for HB 93 (pain management clinics), which include pharmacist use of OARRS, were highlighted, as well as other proposed legislation impacting pharmacy. Danna Droz, R.Ph., JD, OARRS Program Administrator, was on hand to answer questions. This presentation qualified for one hour of Board-approved jurisprudence CE credit.
Kelly Vyzral, OPA Director of Government Affairs, followed with a legislative update of bills that are currently in committee, as well as ideas for future legislation such as legislation that would regulate PBMs. The speakers gave the participating pharmacists and students a “To Do” list which included getting to know their legislators, inviting them to visit their pharmacy practice, writing or calling legislators on issues that are important, voting in primary as well as the general elections, and contributing to Pharmacy PAC so that we can make sure the voice of pharmacy is heard at the Statehouse.
After a morning in the classroom, the pharmacists were well prepared for the legislative meetings that they had previously scheduled for that afternoon. The legislative meetings were part of the new format, and gave pharmacists a great opportunity to meet one-on-one with their representatives and senators and discuss relevant pharmacy issues.
A very special thank you to the American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc. for their generous sponsorship of Ohio Pharmacy Legislative Day.
HB 244: Paramedics Administering Vaccines
Sponsored by Rep. Gonzales, this bill would permit authorized paramedics to administer immunizations for influenza to firefighters or emergency medical technicians. We are supporting an amendment that would prohibit emergency medical organizations from opening clinics that would expand their immunizations to the public.
HB 334: Electronic Tracking of PSE Sales
This bill mandates electronic tracking of pseudo-ephedrine (PSE) sales through a national computer system (NPLEx). The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Terry Johnson, is being promoted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. OPA met with Rep. Johnson to discuss the idea of making PSE prescription-only, allowing pharmacists to prescribe and track it through OARRS.
SB 83: APN Prescribing
Sponsored by Sen. Oelslager, this bill permits APNs to prescribe schedule IIs in designated locations. From a pharmacy perspective, there is concern that pharmacists will have no idea whether a prescription written by an APN was written in one of the designated settings. Sen. Oelslager has agreed to an amendment that would provide pharmacists with qualified immunity should the bill remain in its current limited form.
If you have any questions or comments about the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs, at 614.389.3236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.