Pharmacy Advocacy Update
Floor Amendment on bill would reorganize the Board of Pharmacy Advisory Council
Senate Bill 37, sponsored by Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville), was voted out of the Senate on Tuesday with a floor amendment that significantly changed the bill. SFA1 removed the language that would have prohibited the Board of Pharmacy from requiring any type of licensure for out-of-state pharmacists employed or contracted by an out-of-state pharmacy. The amendment also changed the makeup of the Board of Pharmacy's advisory council by specifying nominating organizations and allocating seats to select pharmacists in specific practice areas. KPhA worked diligently to compromise on the changes reflected in the new version of the bill. Click here to review the proposed makeup of the advisory council.
KPhA is no longer opposed to SB 37 as amended by SCS1, SFA1.
SB 170 was assigned to the Senate Health Services Committee last week.
The committee didn't meet last week, but the bill could be heard as soon as next Wednesday. KPhA is opposed to SB 170 and encourages members utilizing protocols to contact your Senator and urge them to oppose the bill as well. We also ask that you contact your physician colleagues and have them contact KMA and indicate support for board-authorized protocols and team-based care.
Click here to read SB 170
Companion Bills to Prohibit Patient Steering
Senate Bill 149, sponsored by Sen. Donald Douglas (R-Nicholasville), and House Bill 350, sponsored by pharmacist Rep. Danny Bentley (R-Russell), are companion bills prohibiting PBMs from requiring or incentivizing patients to use a mail-order or a PBM-affiliated pharmacy. This would include prohibiting the mandatory use of an affiliated specialty pharmacy, effectively eliminating white bagging. SB 149 and HB 350 prioritize patient choice, patient safety, and quality care.
SB 149 and HB 350 have been assigned to each chamber's Banking and Insurance Committee. KPhA members are encouraged to support both measures by contacting your legislators and asking for their support. KPhA strongly supports both bills. We are working with the bill sponsors to promote their passage. You can click here for an overview of the bills, including relevant talking points.
Abortion exceptions would expand under proposed legislation
House Majority Whip Jason Nemes (R-Louisville) has filed HB 569 that would expand exemptions to abortion restrictions for rape and incest and if the fetus is not viable up to 15 weeks. It would allow women to access abortion-inducing medications for these exceptions as well, up to 15 weeks. It has not been referred to a committee for action.
Click here to read HB 569
Prior authorization reform legislation advances
Prior authorization reform took a step closer to passing after it received approval in the Health Services Committee with a committee substitute. House Bill 134, sponsored by Chair Kim Moser (R-Independence), would establish a process where a healthcare provider who receives a 90% or better approval rating for prior authorizations would receive an exemption from the requirement to get a prior authorization. The bill would require reevaluation of this exemption, but it would mean that patients being cared for by these exempted providers would be able to bypass prior authorizations. The bill has been recommitted to the House Banking and Insurance Committee for further consideration.
Click here to read Committee Sub for HB 134
Kentucky Cannabis Center authority could expand under proposed bill
In the 2022 legislative session, the General Assembly authorized the creation of the Kentucky Cannabis Center within the University of Kentucky to conduct research on the effectiveness of cannabis in treating medical conditions. House Health Services Chair Kim Moser (R-Independence) has filed HB 590 that would allow the Cannabis Research Center to establish parameters for determining when it is safe to treat patients and establish treatment locations across the state. The bill has not been referred to a committee for action.
Click here to read HB 590
Bill would give parents access to medical records
House Bill 543 sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Raymer (R-Morgantown) would give parents or guardians access to children's healthcare records unless they are protected by federal privacy laws. The bill applies to any healthcare record, which could include prescription drug records. It has not been referred to a committee.
Click here to read HB 543
Gender transition services for minors would be deemed unprofessional conduct
House Bill 470 sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Decker (R-Shelbyville) would establish that providing gender transition services to a minor, including the dispensing of medication for such services, would be deemed unprofessional conduct and the provider would be held liable for all damages that could come to the individual receiving services.
The legislation also states that the unprofessional conduct finding would establish a defense for the healthcare provider to refuse to provide gender transitioning services. There are exemptions to providing hormonal care for patients born with a medically verifiable sexual disorder, abnormal sexual chromosome development, or the treatment of illness caused by gender transitioning services.
For pharmacists, the prohibitions apply to the pharmacy permit holder, the pharmacist, and the registered pharmacy technician. Each licensing board would be required to open an investigation and revoke the license of a healthcare professional in violation of the proposed unprofessional conduct. A healthcare provider providing gender transitioning services would be charged with a Class B misdemeanor on the first offense, a Class A misdemeanor for the second, and a Class D felony for the third offense. Anyone harmed or any parent whose child was harmed could sue the healthcare provider for actual and punitive damages, healthcare, and legal costs.
Click here to read HB 470