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Legislation Tracker: 2013-2014

Below is a list of the various bills that OPA is tracking in the 130th General Assembly. This page is meant to be an internal document for members only so that you can have a better understanding of the legislative issues that could impact our profession. We ask that you please refrain from publicly sharing the content of this page as it is meant for pharmacist members only. The latest updates are in bold.  If you have any questions or concerns about a particular bill, please contact OPA's Director of Government & Public Affairs Antonio Ciaccia at


HB 44:  Emergency Dispensing

Overview: This bill would empower the Department of Health, in coordination with other regulatory agencies like the Board of Pharmacy, to develop protocols that would allow pharmacists and pharmacy interns to dispense limited quantities of drugs without a written, oral, or electronic prescription during a declared public health emergency.
Primary Sponsor: Representative Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Sears, Grossman, Adams, J., Derickson, Stebelton, Terhar, Retherford, O'Brien, Bishoff, Brown, Carney, Amstutz, Anielski, Antonio, Barnes, Beck, Damschroder, Fedor, Gerberry, Hackett, Letson, McGregor, Milkovich, Patmon, Pelanda, Ramos, Rogers, Speaker Batchelder
Committee: Passed House Health & Aging, passed House, currently in Senate Medicaid, Health & Human Services
Status: Passed the House 91-1; 11/20/13 –sponsor/proponent testimony given in Senate committee
Latest news: The bill passed the House 91-1, and has moved to the Senate. The bill has been referred to the Senate Medicaid, Health & Human Services Committee and received sponsor testimony in early October.Representative McClain’s testimony did not draw too many concerns. In November, OPA gave proponent testimony along with OPA members Kevin Mitchell and Dan Karant. There was no opponent testimony. After a technical amendment from the Legislative Services Commission, a vote was delayed, but we anticipate it being voted out of committee in December.
Bill text: 

HB 49:  Pharmacist requirements to report elder abuse

Overview: This bill would revise the laws governing Ohio’s adult protective services. Specifically, the legislation would add several licensed professionals, including pharmacists, to the list of people required by law to report suspected elder abuse. While this bill will impose new requirements on pharmacists, OPA is working to ensure it does not impose any undue burdens on pharmacy practice.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) and Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Derickson, Thompson, Reece, Boyce, Stebelton, Pillich, Anielski, Ashford, Sprague, Antonio
Committee: House Judiciary
Status: Sponsor testimony given, proponent testimony given; 11/20/13 – amended in committee
Latest news: There is not much public opposition to this bill, but there are some kinks being worked out behind the scenes. While we are very supportive of the general goal of this bill, our obvious concerns are the principle of placing new burdens on pharmacists that really have little to do with your expertise. The bill was amended in November to clarify some wording in the bill. We are awaiting further action on the bill.
Bill text: 

HB 59:  The Ohio Budget

Overview:  This bill makes operating appropriations for the biennium beginning July 1, 2013, and ending June 30, 2015 for the state of Ohio. There are several issues with this budget, including remote dispensing language for nursing homes & long-term care facilities and a requirement for all pharmacies to participate in the state’s cost-of-dispensing survey. Also of note, the House stripped out the Governor’s recommended Medicaid expansion.
Primary Sponsor: Representative Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Anielski, Baker, Beck, Blair, Boose, Brown, Burkley, Conditt, Dovilla, Grossman, Hackett, Hagan, C., Hayes, Lynch, McClain, McGregor, Pelanda, Rosenberger, Ruhl, Sears, Sprague, Stebelton, Thompson, Senators Beagle, Burke, Coley, Faber, Hite, Lehner, Oelslager, Peterson, Schaffer, Uecker, Widener
Committee: Enacted
Status: 6/30/13 – Signed by Governor
Latest news: After months of debate, Gov. John Kasich signed the biennial Ohio Budget into law. During budget season there were several items that OPA worked diligently on, and in each of these instances, pharmacists were victorious! 
The budget bill contained language that now requires all pharmacies to participate in Medicaid’s biennial cost-of-dispensing survey. While OPA is not pleased with this requirement, we intend to work with Ohio Medicaid and the state legislature to see a more accurate and appropriate dispensing fee. However, along with this survey requirement was punitive language that would have allowed the Medicaid director to penalize any pharmacy that does not participate in the survey with an even lower dispensing fee than they are already receiving. Further troubling is that that language did not specify what that penalty might be and gave the Medicaid director blanket authority to subjectively choose just how much to punish a pharmacy that doesn’t “fully participate” in the survey. We are pleased to report that all punitive language that would have penalized pharmacies for not participating Medicaid’s cost-of-dispensing survey was removed.
The budget bill contained language that would have required all pharmacies and other entities licensed to dispense drugs to begin daily reporting to OARRS. While OPA does not necessarily disagree with daily reporting to OARRS, we do not believe that this type of language belongs in statute, and it sets a bad precedent for the legislature to regulate our profession on matters that are more appropriately handled by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. We are pleased to report that all language requiring daily reporting to OARRS was removed.
The budget bill contained language that would have approved remote dispensing machines to operate in nursing homes and residential care facilities without any pharmacist involvement or supervision. OPA raised concerns over safety problems that could have resulted from the passing of that language. After working with legislators to alter the language and alleviate our concerns, several other organizations came forward with other concerns as well. We are pleased to report that all language authorizing remote dispensing without pharmacist involvement and oversight has been removed.
Bill text: 

HB 92:  Syringe Exchange Program

Overview: This bill would allow communities to offer syringe exchange programs, paid for by local health departments, that would aim to minimize the transmission of diseases and potentially help limit the use of drugs. Similar programs have been reported to reduce in needle sharing and minimize the number of needles that are improperly disposed in public places.Primary Sponsor: Representatives Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Barb Sears (R-Sylvania)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Foley, Rogers, Ashford, Stinziano, Fedor, Strahorn, Brown, Letson, Barnes, Bishoff, Johnson, Boyd, Celebrezze, Driehaus, Hackett, Hagan, R., McGregor, O'Brien, Ramos, Sheehy, Smith, Sprague, Terhar, Williams, Winburn
Committee: Passed House Health & Aging,currently in Senate Medicaid, Health & Human Services
Status: Passed the House 72-23; 11/20/13 – sponsor/proponent testimony given in Senate committee
Latest: While there is no direct impact on pharmacy, we are keeping an eye on any ramifications it could have. The bill was amended in the House to provide immunity under the drug paraphernalia laws for employees and volunteers of syringe exchange programs. Reps. Antonio and Sears declared the program would provide a pathway to treatment of drug users while assisting in the proper disposal of needles and syringes that can be found and toxic to both adults and children. Some conservative legislators have said they can't back the bill because offering new needles in exchange for used ones could promote increased drug use, but during proponent testimony in the Senate Medicaid, Health & Human Services Committee, many proponents pointed to statistics that claim otherwise. A CDC study that showed exchange programs lead to an 80% decrease in risky behavior among intravenous drug users and an ACLU study showed exchange clients are five times more likely to enter drug treatment programs. OPA will continue to monitor the bill.
Bill text: 

HB 125: Medicaid Expansion

Overview: This bill would permit the Medicaid program to cover the eligibility expansion group authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and to make an appropriation for it.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Jay Carney (D-Columbus) and Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Lundy, Ramos, Driehaus, Foley, Clyde, Hagan, R., Ashford, Sykes, Phillips, Celebrezze, Boyce, Williams, Reece, Budish, Redfern, Stinziano, Curtin, Fedor, Heard, Rogers, Letson, Mallory, Patterson, Barborak, Bishoff, Boyd, Cera, Gerberry, Milkovich, O'Brien, Pillich, Slesnick, Strahorn, Szollosi
Committee: House Finance & Appropriations
Status: 4/17/13 – Referred to committee, sponsor testimony delayed
Latest: In late October, Medicaid expansion was pushed through the Controlling Board, an unconventional and controversial method that has resulted in a pending lawsuit. While this is not the end of the Medicaid expansion discussion, it is likely that there will be little to no action on most of the pending bills dealing with expansion.
Bill text: 

HB 153: Medical Marijuana

Overview: This bill would allow patients with certain chronic conditions to use marijuana to treat their ailments. If passed, Ohio would be the 20th state to pass medical marijuana laws.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Foley, Ramos
Committee: House Health & Aging
Status: 5/29/13 – Referred to committee, sponsor testimony given
Latest: While we have not received any indiciation that this bill will advance, we are still monitoring this bill to gauge impact on pharmacies. In several other states where medical marijuana is permitted, some pharmacies have chosen to dispense. Under this bill, Ohioans with debilitating conditions such as cancer or glaucoma would be able to possess up to 200 grams of usable marijuana and 12 mature cannabis plants if they get written certification from a doctor and register with the Ohio Department of Health. Following testimony before the House Health & Aging Committee, Rep. Hagan said he doesn't believe any further hearings on his legislation will be scheduled, and so far, he is correct.
Bill text:

HB 170: Naloxone Access

Overview: This bill would expand access to naloxone by allowing nonmedical personnel and family members & friends of addicts access to the drug in case of an emergency where the drug would be needed. The bill also takes steps to get naloxone into the hands of more emergency responders and to law enforcement.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Terry Johnson (R- McDermott) and Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Amstutz, Antonio, Gonzales, Grossman, Letson, Lynch, Maag, Milkovich, Phillips, Reece, Rogers, Sprague, Stebelton, Ramos, Barnes, Bishoff, Brown, Schuring, Sears, Smith, Adams, R., Anielski, Ashford, Baker, Beck, Blair, Blessing, Boose, Boyd, Buchy, Budish, Burkley, Butler, Carney, Celebrezze, Curtin, Damschroder, Derickson, DeVitis, Dovilla, Driehaus, Fedor, Gerberry, Green, Hackett, Hagan, C., Hall, Hayes, Heard, Henne, Hill, Huffman, Landis, Lundy, Mallory, McClain, Patterson, Perales, Redfern, Rosenberger, Ruhl, Sheehy, Slaby, Strahorn, Terhar, Thompson, Winburn, Young, Speaker Batchelder
Committee: Passed House Health & Aging Committee, currently in Senate Medicaid, Health & Human Services
Status: Passed House 95-0;10/30/13 – Referred to Senate Medicaid, Health & Human Services Committee
Latest: OPA has submitted a letter of support for this bill. The bill in its current form is satisfactory, but we will remain involved in case amendments or revisions pop up during the bill’s review process. The bill seems to have a wide range of support and as of now, stands a good chance of passing. Recent adjustments to the bill clean up some language to allow for future naloxone delivery systems to be used in addition to current delivery methods. Another addition to the bill will now require family and friends who administer the drug to call 9-1-1 immediately before or after using it to ensure immunity. The State Medical Board of Ohio, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, and Ohio Board of Nursing are all supportive of the bill. The bill passed unanimously in the House and now moves to the Senate.
Bill text:

HB 176: Medicaid Reform/Expansion

Overview: This bill would require the Medical Assistance Director to implement Medicaid reforms and to expand Medicaid coverage individuals that are up to 138% of the federal poverty level
Primary Sponsor: Representative Barb Sears (R-Sylvania)
Co-sponsors: None
Committee: House Health & Aging Committee
Status: 10/16/2013 – Re-referred to House Health & Aging Committee, sponsor testimony given
Latest: There are several Medicaid expansion/reform bills that are being mulled by both the House and the Senate. With Democrats and a few Republicans pushing the issue, something is bound to get through the legislature. With that, we will be monitoring each piece of Medicaid legislation. This bill was originally referred to the House Finance & Appropriations Committee but after three months of little activity was re-referred to House Health & Aging Committee. Representative Sears was peppered with questions from committee members during sponsor testimony in mid-October.  A week later, Medicaid expansion was pushed through the Controlling Board, an unconventional and controversial method that has resulted in a pending lawsuit. While this is not the end of the Medicaid expansion discussion, it is likely that there will be little to no action on most of the pending bills dealing with expansion. Chairman Wachtmann has since removed the bill from the committee agenda with no indications that it will be added back on. In the meantime two other Medicaid bills have progressed and seem to be the likely vehicles for Medicaid reforms.
Bill text:

HB 208: Medicaid Reform

Overview: This bill aims to improve Ohio's Medicaid system through a series of reforms aimed at curbing costs and reducing dependency.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster) and Vernon Sykes (D-Akron)
Co-sponsors: Representatives McClain, Wachtmann, Ashford, Buchy, Foley, Gonzales, Antonio, Driehaus
Committee: House Finance & Appropriations
Status: 11/26/13 – Referred to committee, sponsor and proponent testimony given
Latest: In late October, Medicaid expansion was pushed through the Controlling Board, an unconventional and controversial method that has resulted in a pending lawsuit. This is not the end of the Medicaid discussion though and several bills have been introduced to address reforms to the program. This is one of those bills. This bipartisan bill aims to establish a new Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee that produces cost containment and peer mentoring reports; limit per member per month Medicaid costs; provide cost reform methods; and lower the number of Ohioans who rely on Medicaid. In late November, the House Finance & Appropriations Committee resumed hearings on the bill – the first ones since June. In that hearing, two amendments were discussed that would allow the legislation to focus specifically on workforce issues and helping Ohioans move off of the health entitlement program and onto private insurance.
Bill text:

HB 264: Diabetes Care in Schools

Overview: This bill aims to set standards of care for students with diabetes in schools.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napolean) and John Barnes (D-Cleveland)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Antonio, Beck, Grossman, Milkovich, Brown
Committee: House Health & Aging
Status: 10/30/13 – Sponsor testimony given, proponent & opponent testimony given
Latest: This bill would set standards for diabetes care of students in in their schools. This will set training requirements for school staff, which any health care professional knowledgeable in diabetes care can provide. We will need to see if that includes pharmacists. We are seeking comment from members about this legislation to see if there are opportunities or concerns with the language. The Ohio Association of School Nurses have voiced concern over the legislation and are seeking many changes to the bill, including stressing that if non-nurses will be providing care they should not only complete training, but also demonstrate competency. The bill is currently delayed in committee.
Bill text:

HB 271: Health Worker Immunity

Overview: This bill aims to expand the immunity from liability for health care professionals, including pharmacists, when providing specific care to an indigent and uninsured person.
Primary Sponsor: Representative John Becker (R-Union Twp.)
Co-sponsors: None
Committee: House Insurance
Status: 10/8/13 – Sponsor testimony given
Latest: This bill would expand the types of services that healthcare professionals can offer to the poor and uninsured without fear of civil liability. Rep. Becker said the measure lifts barriers and reduces the cost for providers to perform charity work, for whatever reason, to those who otherwise have few options. The intent to remove barriers that may discourage a health care professional from volunteering their time to help others.
Bill text:

HB 296: Epinephrine Autoinjectors in Schools

Overview: This bill would give schools and districts permission to stock on school grounds non-patient specific doses of epinephrine to use in cases of allergic reactions.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Mike Duffey (R-Worthington)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Grossman, Butler, Hackett, Beck, Blessing, Scherer, Derickson, Milkovich, Sprague, Antonio, Becker, Barborak, Stinziano, Roegner, Sears, Amstutz, Phillips, Terhar, Hagan, R., Buchy, Stebelton, Perales, Smith, Blair, Rosenberger, Cera, Brenner, Fedor, Bishoff, Driehaus, Adams, R., Anielski, Ashford, Baker, Barnes, Boose, Boyce, Brown, Budish, Carney, Celebrezze, Curtin, DeVitis, Dovilla, Foley, Gerberry, Green, Hall, Hayes, Heard, Henne, Hottinger, Kunze, Landis, Lynch, Maag, Mallory, McClain, O'Brien, Patmon, Patterson, Pillich, Ramos, Reece, Retherford, Rogers, Ruhl, Schuring, Sheehy, Slaby, Slesnick, Strahorn, Thompson, Winburn, Young Speaker Batchelder
Committee: Passed Education Committee
Status: 11/20/13Passed House 88-0
Latest: The intent of this bill is to better prepare schools to handle severe allergic reactions amongst students, staff, and visitors. Ohio law currently allows a school nurse and a student to possess and use epinephrine in case of an emergency, but only for a student with a known food allergy. It would make non-patient-specific epinephrine available to be used in line with protocol established by the district and be administered by properly trained personnel in those cases where allergies are unknown. OPA has voiced support for the bill. In mid-November, the committee adopted an amendment that Rep. Kunze said would make minor clarifications to the bill language and directs districts to create policies and procedures necessary to implement the bill's provisions. Another amendment from Rep. Kunze allows camps to have EpiPens on hand as allowed for schools in the bill. It passed committee and was quickly moved through the House. We await action in the Senate.
Bill text:

HB 301: Drug Administration by APN Delegates

Overview: This bill would authorize a person not otherwise authorized to do so to administer certain drugs pursuant to delegation by an advanced practice registered nurse who holds a certificate to prescribe.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) and Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Hood, Blessing, Brenner, Antonio, Reece, Fedor
Committee: House Health & Aging
Status: 11/20/13– Referred to House Health & Aging Committee, sponsor and proponent testimony given
Latest: This newly introduced bill is very interesting and something we will be following closely. We will be attending sponsor testimony to learn more and report back to our volunteers. The bill is being supported by the Ohio Nurses Association, Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses and Ohio Emergency Nurses Association. The Ohio State Medical Association is remaining neutral.
Bill text:

NEW HB 314: Controlled Substance Prescriptions for Minors

Overview: This bill would require a prescriber to obtain written informed consent from a minor's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the minor before issuing a controlled substance prescription to the minor and to establish sanctions for a prescriber's failure to comply with this requirement.
Primary Sponsor: Representatives Nan Baker (R-Westlake) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard)
Co-sponsors: Representatives Hagan, C., Landis, Antonio, Sprague, Boose, Smith, Stebelton, Hood, Green, Sears, Driehaus, Patterson, O'Brien, Becker
Committee: Opiate Addiction Treatment & Reform Subcommittee of the House Health & Aging Committee
Status: 11/19/13 – Referred to Opiate Addiction Treatment & Reform Subcommittee of the House Health & Aging Committee; sponsor, proponent, & opponent testimony given
Latest: The bill states that doctors must record parental consent to prescribe to minors on a form completely separate from any other consent forms that are already required by state and federal laws. Those doctors prescribing opioids would also be required to inform minors and their guardians of the overdose and addiction risks associated with the drugs. Any prescriber that doesn't comply with the bill's requirements could have his or her license revoked and could receive a practice suspension. The bill is being opposed by all physician groups, but seems to have a lot of support within the legislature. We continue to monitor the bill in case there are added implications for pharmacy.
Bill text:

NEW HB 317: Medicaid Reform

Overview:  This bill aims to make various reforms to Ohio’s Medicaid program, including curbing fraud committed against the state. The bill also has some other pieces thrown into it, including penalties for certain drug offenses committed against pregnant women, non-opiate medication for released inmates, prescription-related identification requirements, and education for individuals without a high school diploma.
Primary Sponsor: Representative Barb Sears (R-Sylvania)
Co-sponsors: None
Committee: House Health & Aging
Status: 10/30/13 – Sponsor testimony given
Latest: This bill attempts to curb fraud and unnecessary costs in Ohio’s Medicaid program. This bill is not limited to Medicaid in its scope though. Buried in the bill is language that would require any “retail pharmacy” to verify the ID of any patient picking up a prescription for a controlled substance or drug containing tramadol. There is some clarification needed on what “retail pharmacy” is defined as. OPA is vehemently opposed to any exemptions for mail-order pharmacies to comply with this legislation if passed. We generally oppose the concept of mandating an ID check, but we also have several concerns about penalties and “what if” scenarios. OPA has been told that it is likely that the ID requirement will be separated out of this bill and will be introduced as a stand-alone bill. We have a meeting with the bill’s sponsor soon to discuss our issues.
Bill text:

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