Current Legislation

2018

SB 562 – The Healthy California Act

Summary: Creates the Healthy California program to provide comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents of the state. Provides that the program incorporates benefits from existing programs. Provides for the participation of health care providers in the program. Creates the Healthy California Trust Fund for the financing of the program. Authorizes providers to collectively negotiate rates of payment.

Position: Oppose.

CPhA has joined the Coalition to Protect Access to Care to help save the Affordable Care Act and improve our state’s health care system. View the opposition letter here.

2017

Year-end Summary of CPhA Legislative Activity

CPhA tracked over 40 bills in the 2017 legislative cycle. There were several pieces of legislation which were problematic to the profession for which we had approved “oppose” positions. We were able to successfully negotiate amendments allowing CPhA to remove our opposition to all but one bill which we will continue to work on when the legislature returns in January. The work CPhA has done over the last several years in building relationships with other organizations has proven positive.

The issue of drug pricing and the opioid epidemic took center stage for much of the year. While the bills to address the opioid epidemic didn’t do well overall, drug pricing transparency advocates had a major victory when SB 17 (Hernandez), the Prescription Drug Pricing bill was signed into law by the Governor. The CPhA-supported bill to regulate PBMs, creating transparency in order to learn what role they play in escalating drug prices (as well as prohibiting specific business practices) was made a 2-year bill in order to work out some technical issues with the Administration.

CPhA had a successful legislative session which would not have been possible without leaders providing direction and input as the grassroots activism of our members. Thank you!

Here is a brief summary of some of the bills CPhA worked on in 2017.

Pharmacy

AB 315 (Wood) –  Pharmacy Benefits Management

Summary: Requires PBMs to disclose specified information to consumer upon request. Also prohibits PBMs from including language stating that pharmacists can’t inform their patients of less costly drugs (gag clauses), language stating that pharmacists can’t dispense to mail order patients and establishes a hotline for consumers to report bad PBM practices.

Position: Support.

Status: 2-year bill.

AB 401 (Aguiar-Curry) –  Pharmacy- remote dispensing site pharmacy- telepharmacy

Summary: Authorizes a remote dispensing site pharmacy to use a telepharmacy system, and would require the Board of Pharmacy (Board) to issue a remote dispensing site pharmacy license; requires a remote dispensing site pharmacy to be located in a medically underserved area; authorizes a pharmacist to serve as a supervising pharmacist to provide telepharmacy services for up to two remote dispensing site pharmacies; authorizes a licensed remote dispensing site pharmacy to order dangerous drugs & devices and controlled substances, and authorizes a registered pharmacy technician to receive and sign for the delivered order; authorizes a registered pharmacy technician to work at a remote dispensing site pharmacy and to perform tasks under the supervision of a pharmacist using a telepharmacy system; and, authorizes a pharmacist at a supervising pharmacy to supervise up to two pharmacy technicians at each remote dispensing site pharmacy in addition to any pharmacy technicians being supervised at the supervising pharmacy.

Position: Support.

Status: Approved by Governor October 07, 2017.

AB 602 (Bonta) –  Pharmacy – Nonprescription Diabetes Devices

Summary: Authorizes the Board of Pharmacy to prevent the sale of blood glucose testing products that are counterfeit or purchased from vendors who do not follow critical safety guidelines.

Position: Neutral.

Status: Approved by Governor July 31, 2017.

AB 1048 (Arambula) – Pharmacy – Partial Fill

Summary: Authorizes a pharmacist to dispense a Schedule II controlled substance as a partial fill if requested by the patient or the prescriber.

Position: Support (changed from “oppose unless amended” after sponsor accepted all CPhA amendments)

Status: Approved by Governor October 09, 2017.

SB 351 (Roth) –  Hospital Satellite Compounding Pharmacy- Licensing

Summary: Authorizes Board of Pharmacy to issue a license to a hospital satellite compounding pharmacy meeting specified requirements.

Position: Watch.

Status: Approved by Governor October 09, 2017.

SB 716 (Hernandez) – California State Board of Pharmacy: Board Composition

Summary: This bill would add two additional members to the Board of Pharmacy: one pharmacy technician and an additional public member.

Position: Oppose. CPhA supported the bill as introduced which would simply have added a technician. We changed our position to oppose with the addition of the public member which resulted in the loss of the pharmacist majority on the Board.

Status: 2-year bill.

Prescription Drug Abuse

AB 1512 (McCarty) –  Opioid abuse – Taxation

Summary: Would have created the Opioid Addiction and Rehabilitation Act which would have been funded by imposing a tax upon the distribution of opioids by every person including, but not limited to, a manufacturer or wholesaler, that makes the first sale in this state of opioids, where the sale is for the purpose of resale in the regular course of business, a manufacturer to a wholesaler from the manufacturer, as those terms are defined, at the rate of $0.01 per milligram of active opioid ingredient.

Position: Oppose.

Status: Dead.

SB 176 (Bates) –  Controlled Substances – Fentanyl and Carfentanil

Summary: Would add fentanyl and carfentanil to a category of dangerous drugs, such as heroin, that are subject to penalty enhancements based on the weight an individual possesses for sale or distribution.

Position: Watch.

Status: Dead.

SB 419 (Portantino) – Oxycodone – Prescriptions

Summary: Prohibits a person from prescribing oxycodone, by whatever official, common, usual, chemical, or trade name designated, to a patient under 21 years of age.

Position: Oppose (as introduced/first amendments). Accepted our amends. Watch.

Status: Dead.

Cures

AB 40 (Santiago) – CURES Database Interoperability

Summary: This bill would allow health information to technologies to integrate with and automatically query CURES. This means a summary of a patient’s opioid prescription history would be given directly to the emergency room physician and pharmacist without them needing to take time away from patient care to manually check CURES.

Position: Support.

Status: Approved by Governor October 09, 2017.

Prescription Costs/Transparency

AB 265 (Wood) –  Prescription Drugs – Prohibition on Price Discount

Summary: Prohibits prescription drug manufacturers from offering discounts or other reduction in an individual’s out-of-pocket expenses associated with his or her insurance coverage, if a lower cost therapeutically equivalent generic drug is available. Specifies a number of exceptions that allow discounts even if a lower cost therapeutically equivalent generic drug is available.

Position: Neutral.

Status: Approved by Governor October 09, 2017.

SB 17 (Hernandez) – Prescription Drug Pricing

Summary: Requires health care service plans (health plans) and health insurers to report information related to covered prescription drugs, to the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) or California Department of Insurance (CDI), respectively. Requires DMHC and CDI to compile the data into a report that demonstrates the overall impact of drug costs on health care premiums. Also imposes specific requirement on drug manufacturers regarding notification to specified purchasers and regulators.

Position: Neutral.

Status: Approved by Governor October 09, 2017.

Employment Issues

AB 1589 (Salas) – Pharmacy – pharmacist supervision- technicians.

Summary: Existing law prohibits a pharmacy with one pharmacist from having more than one pharmacy technician and prohibits the ratio of pharmacy technicians to any additional pharmacists from exceeding 2:1, except as specified. This bill would require the board to review that ratio on a biennial basis and would require the board to provide a report to the Legislature with legislative recommendations if the board decides a change is necessary.

Position: Neutral.

Status: Dead.

AB 387 (Thurmond) – Minimum Wage – Health Professionals- Interns

Summary: Would require health care entities to pay allied health students, as defined, minimum wage for time spent in clinical or experiential training that is required for state licensure.

Position: Watch.

Status: Dead.

Board of Pharmacy (Sponsored Legislation)

SB 510 (Stone) –  Pharmacies- Compounding

Summary: Repeals a provision under the Pharmacy Law which requires a pharmacy to compound sterile products from one or more nonsterile ingredients in prescribed environments.

Position: Support.

Status: Approved by Governor October 10, 2017.

SB 443 (Hernandez) –  Pharmacy- Emergency Medical Services Drug Delivery

Authorizes a pharmacy or wholesaler to furnish dangerous drugs or dangerous devices into an emergency medical services automated drug delivery system, as defined.

Position: Support.

Status: Approved by Governor October 10, 2017.

Misc.

SB 790 (McGuire) – Health care providers: gifts and benefits.

Summary: This bill would prohibit a manufacturer of a prescribed product from offering or giving a gift to a health care provider. The bill would further prohibit a manufacturer of a prescribed product or an entity on behalf of a manufacturer of a prescribed product from providing a fee, payment, subsidy, or other economic benefit to a health care provider in connection with the provider’s participation in research, except as specified. The bill would define terms of its purposes, including, among others, the term “gift.” The bill would specify circumstances to which these prohibitions do not apply.

Position: Watch. CPhA communicated our concerns and submitted amendments.

Status: Assembly Inactive File.