Current Legislation

2022 Legislative Priorities

After more than three years of advocating for independent pharmacy against the state’s desire to clawback millions of dollars in Medi-Cal payments, the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) has been victorious in saving independent pharmacy! The tireless work of CPhA staff and members of the Californians for Access to Life-Saving Medicine –a coalition of the Community Pharmacy Advocacy Group (CPAG) – have resulted in securing $142 million in the State Budget to give independent pharmacies total forgiveness and relief from these unfair retroactive recoupments. This action was in addition to the successful legal injunction that suspended recoupments over the last three years. This work consumed much of our time this legislative session but we still were able to address several other issues of importance to pharmacy.

 

CPhA Sponsored Legislation

AB 2194 (Members Ward & Lee) – Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians: continuing education: cultural competency.
Summary: The bill is intended to remove what can be a barrier to healthcare within the LBTQ+ community. It would improve pharmacist’s ability to provide culturally competent care by providing consistent training in the form of requiring at least 1 hour of the required 30 hours of CE per pharmacist license renewing cycle (every two years) to pharmacists. It would also require pharmacy technician to submit proof satisfactory to the board that the applicant has successfully completed at least one hour of participation in a cultural competency course.
Status: Senate Floor.

 

Priority Legislation

AB 1341 (C. Garcia) – Dietary supplements for weight loss and over-the-counter diet pills.
Summary: As introduced, this bill would have prohibited a retail establishment from selling, transferring, or furnishing dietary supplements for weight loss or over-the-counter (OTC) diet pills to anyone under 18 years of age without a prescription. It would have also required a retail establishment to comply with specified access requirements for dietary supplements or OTC diet pills. Specifically, prohibit a retail establishment from selling, transferring, or otherwise furnishing dietary supplements for weight loss or OTC diet pills to any person under 18 years of age. Additionally, it would have required a retail establishment to do all of the following with respect to the dietary supplements for weight loss and OTC pills determined by DPH to be subject to this bill:
a) Limit access to those products in a manner designed to prevent the misuse or abuse of those products; b) Prohibit direct access to those products by customers, and limit direct access only to managers, assistant managers, acting managers, or any other supervisory personnel at the retail establishment; and, c) Require a customer to request a purchase, transfer, or furnishing of those products directly to the manager, assistant manager, acting manager, or other supervisory personnel at the retail establishment.
Sponsor:
CPhA Position: Oppose to Neural.
Status: The bill was significantly amended, deleting the more onerous portions of the bill. It is on the Senate Floor.

 

AB 1797 (Weber) – Immunization registry.
Summary: This bill is intended to keep schools open by: 1. Granting school districts the authorization to use the California Immunization Registry (CAIR2) to look up necessary vaccines. 2. Require all providers who perform vaccinations to enter the data into the CAIR2 system. 3. Make a patient’s or client’s race and ethnicity a required field in the CAIR2 system.
Sponsor: ProtectUS
Recommended Position: Watch
Status: Senate Floor.

 

AB 1852 (Patterson) – Health facilities: automated drug delivery systems.
Summary: This bill would add the use of automated drug delivery systems (ADDS), for pharmacy services to licensed hospice facilities.
Sponsor: California Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHAPCA)
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Approved by Governor July 19, 2022.

 

AB 1880 (Arambula) – Step Therapy Medi-Cal Parity
Summary: This bill requires a health plan or insurer to ensure a clinical peer reviews an appeal of a denial of an exception request for coverage of a non-formulary drug, prior authorization request, or step therapy exception request. This bill requires plans and insurers to maintain specified information related to their use of step therapy and prior authorization and make it available to the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance upon request.
Sponsor: Arthritis Foundation (co-sponsor), California Rheumatology Alliance (co-sponsor), Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (co-sponsor)
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Senate Floor.

 

AB 1949 (Low) – Employees: bereavement leave
Summary: This bill ensures that workers are entitled to take job-protected, unpaid bereavement leave to mourn the loss of their immediate family member. It guarantees workers up to 5 business days of unpaid leave.
Sponsor: California Employment Lawyers Association, Crime Survivors for Safety & Justice, Equal Rights Advocates, Legal Aid at Work
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Senate Floor.

 

AB 2265 (Arambula) – Pharmacy: dispensing controlled substances: lockable vials.
Summary: As introduced, this bill: 1) Requires pharmacists who dispense schedule II or schedule IIN drugs to dispense those drugs in lockable containers; 2) Directs a pharmacist to provide a copy of the Opioid Factsheet for Patients that is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 3) Requires the manufacturer of a controlled substance to reimburse the pharmacy each month for the cost of lockable vials used by the pharmacy to dispense controlled substances; 4) Requires the manufacturer to reimburse the pharmacy within 30 days of receiving the claim; 5) Caps the cost at two dollars ($2) per lockable vial.
Sponsor: California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP), Shatterproof
Recommended Position: Oppose
Status: The bill was amended to give the Board of Pharmacy the authority to establish reasonable minimum and maximum amounts of reimbursement that include the cost of the vial and services rendered and dispensing costs. The bill was held in Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

AB 2312 (Lee) – Nonprescription contraception: access.
Summary: AB 2312 would prohibit a retail establishment (including pharmacies) from refusing to provide nonprescription contraception to a person solely based on age.
Sponsor: Information requested
Recommended Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Status: The bill was referred to the Assembly Health Committee but the hearing was cancelled at the request of the author.

 

AB 2352 (Nazarian) – Prescription drug coverage.
Summary: This bill is intended to ensures that patients and their healthcare providers receive accurate, patient-specific pharmacy benefit cost and coverage information at the point of care, empowering them to make informed medical decisions that will lead to better health outcomes.
Sponsor: California Chronic Care Coalition
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Senate Floor.

 

AB 2942 (Daly) – Prescription drug cost sharing.
Summary: This bill would require a health care service plan or health insurer that provides prescription drug benefits and maintains one or more drug formularies to furnish specified information about a prescription drug upon request by an enrollee or insured, or their health care provider. The bill would require the plan or insurer to respond in real time to that request and ensure the information is current no later than one business day after a change is made. The bill would prohibit a health care service plan or health insurer from, among other things, restricting a health care provider from sharing the information furnished about the prescription drug or penalizing a provider for prescribing a lower cost drug.
Sponsor: Information requested
Recommended Position: Support
Status: The bill was referred to the Assembly Health Committee but wasn’t heard.

 

SB 853 (Wiener) – Prescription drug coverage.
Summary: SB 853 requires insurance companies to cover a denied medication, a dose that a patient has previously been prescribed, or an optimized dose of a previously prescribed medication, for the duration of an appeals process. The bill prohibits plans from seeking reimbursement if a denial is sustained on appeal. SB 853 clarifies California’s prohibition on non-medical switching, when a health plan forces a patient to switch from a prescribed drug to a different drug for non-medical reasons. This bill states that the prohibition also applies to the prescribed dose or dose level of a drug. Sponsor: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

SB 866 (Wiener & Pan) – Minors: vaccine consent.
Summary: As introduced, SB 866 permits minors 12 years and older to consent to vaccination when the vaccine is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and meets the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sponsor: ProtectUS, Teens for Vaccines, GENup & MAX the Vax
Recommended Position: Support if Amended
Status: The bill was amended to apply to minors 15 years of age. It is on the Senate Floor.

 

SB 872 (Dodd) – Pharmacies: mobile units.
Summary: SB 872 would allow a county, or city and county, to operate a mobile pharmacy, staffed by a physician, pharmacist, and pharmacy technician to provide medications, vaccines, and related services to people experiencing homelessness and provide similar services to other vulnerable populations lacking access to health services.
Sponsor: County of San Diego, County of Santa Clara & County of Contra Costa
Recommended Position: Support
Status: To Governor.

 

SB 923 (Wiener) – Gender-affirming care.
Summary: Senate Bill 923 requires a health care service plan (health plan) or health insurer to require its staff in direct contact with enrollees or insureds to complete an approved evidence-based cultural competency training, as specified, for the purpose of providing trans-inclusive health care for individuals who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, or intersex (TGI), and requires a health plan or insurer, by July 31, 2023, to provide information, within or accessible from the plan’s or insurer’s provider directory and call center, identifying which of that plan’s or insurer’s in-network providers have affirmed they offer and have provided gender-affirming services.
Sponsor: California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network,  Equality California,  National Health Law Program,  Western Center on Law & Poverty,  Break the Binary LLC,  California TRANScends,  Gender Justice LA,  Orange County TransLatinasnsor,  Queer Works ,  Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance,  San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives,  The TransPower Project,  TransCanWork,  Trans Community Project,  Transgender Health and Wellness Center,  Tranz of Anarchii INC,  Unique Woman’s Coalition,  Unity Hope
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Assembly Floor.

 

SB 944 (Pan) – California Health Benefit Exchange: affordability assistance.
Summary: This bill is intended to reduce cost-sharing for people who purchase health insurance through Covered California silver plans so that they may access health care services they need by providing financial assistance. This is assuming that American Rescue Plan (ARP) premium subsidies will continue and some federal funding will be available to support additional cost-sharing assistance.
Sponsor: Health Access California
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Assembly Floor.

 

SB 958 (Limon & Portantino) – Medication and Patient Safety Act of 2022.
Summary: This bill would prevent health plans from refusing to cover infused and injected medications that the health care provider has in stock, if required for patient safety or medication integrity. The bill would prevent delayed care, suboptimal care, patient distress, and unnecessary hospital admissions.
Sponsor: California Hospital Association & California Children’s Hospital
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Passed the Senate. Referred to Assembly Health, hearing cancelled at request of the author.

 

SB 1346 (Becker) – Surplus medication collection and distribution.
Summary: This bill is intended increases access to no-cost prescriptions by allowing any county-owned and operated health facility with existing pharmacy services to operate a voluntary drug repository and distribution program to distribute surplus medications to persons in need of financial assistance.
Sponsor: Santa Clara County
Recommended Position: Support
Status: Senate Floor to concur in Assembly amendments.
 

 

SB 1361 (Kamlager) – Importation of prescription drugs.
Summary: This bill would authorize a contracted importer to import a prescription drug from a Canadian supplier if specified requirements are met. The bill would authorize CHHSA to expand the importation program to authorize a manufacturer, wholesale distributor, or pharmacy in a foreign country other than Canada to export prescription drugs to California if specified requirements are met, including a change in federal law. If the importation program is expanded, the bill would authorize a contracted importer to import prescription drugs from a manufacturer, wholesale distributor, or pharmacy in a foreign country other than Canada.
Sponsor:
Recommended Position: Oppose
Status: The bill was gutted and amended.

 

SB 1379 (Ochoa Bogh) –  Pharmacy: remote services.
Summary: This bill would, upon authorization, made in writing, by a pharmacist-in-charge, a pharmacist may, from any location outside of the pharmacy or hospital but within California, perform order entry and other data entry, perform prospective drug utilization review, interpret clinical data, perform insurance processing, perform therapeutic interventions, provide drug information, authorize release of medication for administration, or perform other clinical services authorized in this chapter.
Sponsor: Board of Pharmacy
Recommended Position: Support/Amended
Status: Bill was referred to Senate Business & Professions Committee, hearing cancelled at request of the author.

 

For questions, please contact Michelle Rivas, Executive Vice President, Government Relations & Corporate Affairs at mrivas@cpha.com.