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HB 1540 - Pharmacy Modernization and Robbery

The full bill and more information can be found here.

Summary:

Allows the state health commissioner or a designated public health authority who is a licensed prescriber to issue a statewide standing order, prescription, or protocol that allows a pharmacist to administer or dispense a smoking cessation product.  Requires that the standing order, prescription, or protocol be posted on the Internet web site of the board of pharmacy.  Allows: (1) more than four members of the same political party; and (2) individuals who are full -time members or professors at a school of pharmacy; to serve on the board.  Allows the board to adopt emergency rules concerning pharmacies that perform compounding.  Removes the requirement that a pharmacy permit and pharmacist's license be prominently displayed at the pharmacy.  Removes the requirement that a prescriber be notified when there is a change in the quantity filled of certain prescriptions.  Adds the following immunizations to the list of immunizations that pharmacists may administer if certain conditions are met: (1) Measles, mumps, and rubella; (2) Varicella; (3) Hepatitis A; (4) Hepatitis B; (5) Haemophilus influenzae type B(Hib).  Allows a pharmacist to administer pneumonia immunizations to individuals who are at least 50 years of age.  Requires a pharmacist to comply with the public health emergency consent requirements for immunizations administered during a public health emergency.  Authorizes a pharmacist to administer immunizations under a standing order, prescription, or protocol of the state health commissioner.  Defines "patient care", "remote dispensing facilities" and "telepharmacy" for purposes of the laws concerning remote dispensing facilities.  Establishes a registration for pharmacy remote dispensing facilities and sets forth requirements for the registration.  Makes various changes to the laws concerning drug regimens and the use of protocols.  Requires that a health insurance policy and a health maintenance organization contract that provides coverage for prescription medications must provide for synchronized refill schedule coordination for prescription medications for chronic conditions.  Provides that the taking of a controlled substance from: (1) a pharmacist acting in an official capacity; or (2) a pharmacy; is robbery, a Level 4 felony.  Provides that: (1) the use of a deadly weapon or (2) causing bodily injury to any person other than the defendant; during the robbery of: (A) a pharmacist acting in an official capacity; or (B) a pharmacy; is a Level 2 felony.  Provides that causing serious bodily injury to any person other than the defendant during a robbery of: (1) a pharmacist acting in an official capacity; or (2) a pharmacy; is a Level 1 felony.

 

Relevance for Pharmacists:

This is a broad bill but one that accomplished many wins for Indiana pharmacy  The highlights include:
(1) The Board may now have more than four members of the same political party and pharmacy professors/staff are no longer excluded.
(2) The state health commissioner, Jerome Adams, is now authorized (but not required) to develop statewide standing orders, prescriptions, a/o protocol that allows pharmacists to administer and dispense immunization and smoking cessation products  This section will not be directly implemented on July 1st as it will take time to develop the finished protocol.
(3) Pharmacists no longer have to display their license or pharmacy permit.
(4) Defines "telepharmacy" and establishes a registration for pharmacy remote dispensing facilities, which may lead to greater medication access and adherence.
(5) Prescription insurance plans and HMOs must cover medication synchronization for maintenance medications.
(6) Charges for robbing pharmacies, especially if anyone is injured or a weapon is used, are now elevated to higher level felonies (in hopes to further reduce the number of pharmacy robberies statewide).  The impact of this bill and previous robbery related bills has greatly reduced the number of robberies in Indiana.
(7) Removes the requirement to notify prescribers when prescription quantity changes occur (Ex: filing 90ct instead of 30ct) This saves pharmacists and physicians time and hassle as most prescriptions with quantity limits are already specified by the physician.

Effective Date: July 1st, 2017 (Smoking Cessation will not start until the Indiana Health Commissioner agrees to sign a statewide protocol for pharmacists  IPA is working to gain IHC support for this piece of legislation ) The Indiana Board of Pharmacy will be assembling a telepharmacy committee to develop telepharmacy regulations.