With 2020 state legislative sessions in full swing (39 state legislatures in session this week), issues like drug pricing, pharmacy Medicaid reimbursement, pharmacist scope of practice and PBM transparency are being debated in statehouses across the country. AmerisourceBergen (ABC) and Good Neighbor Pharmacy (GNP) have been collaborating with pharmacists and trade associations to encourage pharmacists to use their voices to educate state lawmakers. GNP recently extended calls to action and partnered with pharmacy organizations and customers to encourage pharmacists and patients to voice support for issues in state legislatures in Ohio, Virginia, New Mexico and Hawaii.
- Ohio: In Ohio, GNP sent calls-to-action urging pharmacists and patients to contact state lawmakers and regulators to demand improvements in Medicaid reimbursement. Improving reimbursement under Ohio’s Medicaid program will help keep pharmacy doors open in high need areas and ensure better care for Ohio Medicaid patients.
- Virginia: In Virginia, community pharmacists were encouraged to contact lawmakers and voice support for legislation addressing prescriptive authority of pharmacists. House Bill 1506 and its companion Senate Bill 1026 seek to improve patient access to commonly prescribed medications by allowing pharmacists to prescribe antibiotics, Tamiflu, and hormonal contraceptives, under certain circumstances. Both bills have passed their chambers of origination, and await further action in committee.
- New Mexico: New Mexico pharmacists participated in a grassroots letter writing campaign urging state elected officials to vote in favor of House Bill 42—legislation to improve patient access to care and provide appropriate coverage for certain medical services performed by pharmacists. The bill passed out of the New Mexico Senate Public Affairs committee on Thursday and was referred to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration.
- Hawaii: Hawaii pharmacists and ABC and GNP colleagues are working together with the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) on Hawaii pharmacists’ strategy this session. NCPA worked with pharmacists in Hawaii on House Bill 1609 to lower prescription drug costs, protect patients, and establish greater transparency of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The bill remains active and is being debated in the Hawaii House of Representatives.
Please reach out to the AmerisourceBergen Government Affairs Team with questions. AmerisourceBergen is proud to have two new colleagues with state legislative expertise on the AmerisourceBergen Government Affairs Team: Cristina Muñoz, Director of State Government Affairs, and Christian Johnson, Manager of State Government Affairs. Please reach out to them if you have questions regarding state legislation.