May 26, 2017

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In the News

85th Texas Legislative Session
Get the latest on Physician Dispensing, NADAC, PBM Legislation and Medicaid Formulary! To learn more, please watch a brief video below of Justin Hudman, TPA’s Division Director of Public Affairs TPA’s legislative priorities.

In a session full of ups and downs , pharmacy has had some great successes even in a session filled with historic failures for many. As we enter the final days of session let’s take a quick look at some of the successes that pharmacy has had.

Bills on their way to the governor’s desk:
Senate Bill 1076 - Clawback – Addresses Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) use of the process often called “Clawback”, by prohibiting a health benefit plan issuer from requiring a covered patient to make a copayment for a covered prescription drug at the point of sale in an amount greater than the lesser of certain amounts. This bill is truly about protecting the patients that pharmacists serve from the inappropriate and unethical practices of PBMs. This legislation was carried through the process by the Texas Pharmacy Business Council.

House Bill 3218 – PBM Regulation – Addresses a ruling by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) that HMOs are not allowed to enter into a contract with PBMs due to the Insurance Code's failure to expressly grant this permission. By providing statutory for PBMs to contract with HMOs, TDI also established the bases for oversight authority of the PBMs in the state of Texas. This is an important step as we continue to fight to assure that PBMs are oversighted and regulated by our states regulators so that we can address the many unethical practices of PBMs such as Clawbacks. This bill was shepherded through the process by the Alliance of Independent Pharmacists.

House Bill 1178 – Theft and Burglary of Controlled Substances - Addresses this issue by establishing penalties for a certain burglary or theft offense involving a controlled substance. It amends the Penal Code to establish a penalty of third degree felony for burglary if the premises is a building in which a controlled substance is generally stored, including a pharmacy, clinic, hospital, or nursing facility, and the actor entered or remained concealed in that building with intent to commit a theft of a controlled substance. Sadly, the practice of pharmacy break-ins have become all too common, particularly with the inclusion of organized crime now engaging in these burglaries and thefts. This bill will hopefully help to deter those criminal activities or remove those offenders from the street. This legislation was carried through the process by the Texas Pharmacy Business Council.

House Bill 1296 – Med Synch - Allows physicians, working in conjunction with the patient's health plan and the pharmacy, to determine which medications should be aligned in order to properly treat chronic diseases. It also eliminates barriers to medication synchronization by requiring health plans to prorate any cost-sharing amount charged for a prescription drug dispensed in a quantity that is less than the full amount as part of a recommended medication synchronization program, resulting in reduced upfront costs for patients. This legislation is long overdue and much necessary as pharmacists work with patients and prescribers to synchronize their patients medication and thereby increasing adherence. This effort was led by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

These four bills represent some great wins for pharmacy and the patients pharmacists serve. On Monday May 29th the Texas Legislature will officially Sine Die and end the Regular legislative session. Next week we will be doing a Special Legislative Wrap-up were we will go more in depth on some of our wins and even or losses this session.

You can view all of the bills here. Remember that it is very important for TPA and you, our members, to work together to advance the pharmacy profession during this legislative session!

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State News

NYC Issues Zika Warning for Travelers to Florida and Texas
The New York City's Department of Health issued a travel alert for areas still impacted by the Zika virus.

The Health Department’s travel warning includes areas such as the Caribbean, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, where the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito easily breeds in the tropical climate.

Additionally, NYC is warning its citizens about traveling to Florida and Texas.

Though neither Miami, Florida, nor Brownsville, Texas areas have reported new Zika cases, they have been included in this NYC travel warning.

The NYC Health Department reported 50 percent of all infants in the United States born with Zika related defects were born to women in New York City. More

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Association News

Have you registered for Conference & Expo?

Hotel Block Ends June 7th!
Register Now!

New for 2017: LOWER Registration Rates
Free Night to Enjoy San Antonio



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Monthly CE Free to Members
Are You Prepared for the New Recommendations for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)?
This program will provide pharmacists an overview of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis including indications for prophylaxis, evidence for prophylaxis based on results from recent trials, and important counseling points associated with HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis.


TPA Educational Opportunities
TPA offers other education programs on a wide range of topics. For information on all of TPA’s upcoming educational events, visit the TPA Event Calendar & Online CE Calendar



Texas Pharmacy Today
Editor
Lisa Goerlitz, CAE, Division Director,Member Services, TPA
512.615-9169lgoerlitz@texaspharmacy.org

Texas Pharmacy Association
Carol Reagan, Interim Executive Director, TPA • 512.615.9170