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Current Legislation

To read the text of the bill, click on the bill. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Rivas, Executive Vice President, Government Relations at mrivas@cpha.com.

CPhA-Sponsored Legislation

SB 966 (Wiener) – Pharmacy Benefits

This bill requires that all PBMs be licensed and regulated by the Department of Insurance and disclose basic information regarding their business practices to the licensing entity. In addition, SB 966 enacts other pro-consumer requirements and prohibitions:

Status: Passed the Senate with a unanimous vote. In the Assembly, referred to Assembly Health and Judiciary Committees.

 

AB 317 (Weber) – Pharmacist Services Coverage

This bill would require a health care service plan and certain disability insurers that offer coverage for a service that is within the scope of practice of a duly licensed pharmacist to pay or reimburse the cost of services performed by a pharmacist at an in-network pharmacy or by a pharmacist at an out-of-network pharmacy if the health care service plan or insurer has an out-of-network pharmacy benefit.

Status: Signed into law by the Governor, October 7, 2023

 

SB 339 (Wiener) HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis

This bill would require a health care service plan and health insurer to cover preexposure prophylaxis furnished by a pharmacist, including costs for the pharmacist’s services and related testing. It will also allow a pharmacist to provide the medication beyond the current 60-day limit.

Status: Signed into law by the Governor, February 6, 2024

 

2024 Priority Legislation

AB 82 (Weber) – Dietary supplements for weight loss and over-the-counter diet pills

This bill prohibits a retail establishment from selling, transferring, or otherwise furnishing dietary supplements for weight loss or over-the-counter (OTC) diet pills, as defined, to any person under 18 years of age without a prescription. Requires the California Department of Public Health (DPH) to develop a notice stating that certain dietary supplements for weight loss or OTC diet pills may contribute to specified health conditions or death and requires retail establishments to post it. Specifies a civil penalty of no more than $1,000 for each violation and exempts a retail clerk from any civil penalties, or disciplinary action or discharge by the retail establishment, for a violation of these provisions, except as specified.

According to the author, “Children are abusing OTC weight loss products without the knowledge of their parents and without the supervision of their doctors. With limited regulatory oversight, some dietary supplements are laced with banned pharmaceuticals, steroids, and other toxic ingredients. Dangerous stimulants are also often found in widely available supplements for weight loss. The author concludes that due to the ease of accessibility of these products, minors take them to lose weight quickly, while ignoring the label on the bottle stating the products are not to be consumed by those under 18 years of age.”

Position: Support if Amended
Status: Senate Health Committee

 

AB 1902 (Alanis) – Prescription Labeling for the Blind and Visually Impaired

This bill would require pharmacy dispensers to notify patients receiving a prescription drug that accessible prescription labels are available at request for no additional cost. AB 1902 would also require pharmacy dispensers to provide no-cost accessible prescription labels for patients identifying as blind, low-vision, or otherwise print disabled, upon request.

Per the author’s office, “in 2018, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that approximately 800,000 people reported a visual disability in California. According to the California Council of the Blind, those with low-vision frequently report having difficulty sorting their medications and have inadvertently mis dosed. This is particularly common among the majority of blind or low-vision individuals who are age 60 or older, and often take multiple prescription medications.

AB 1902 would require pharmacy dispensers to notify and make available accessible prescription labels for patients who are blind, have low-vision, or otherwise cannot read standard, written English directions. There are several means to deliver accessible prescription drug directions, including hard copy braille and large print, Digital Voice and Text-to-Speech Recorder, Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID), and other dedicated equipment like smart devices and computers. AB 1902 would make a significant impact on the blind and low-vision community by increasing their ability to take medications independently and access instructions that can prevent severe medical emergencies from unplanned drug interactions.”

Position: Support if Amended
Status: Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee

 

AB 2180 (Weber) – Co-Pay Accumulator (All Co-Pays Count)

This bill would ensure that California health insurance plans and pharmacy benefit mangers (PBMs) count the value of copay assistance from patient assistance programs (PAPs) toward a patient’s deductible and out-of-pocket maximum expenses, thereby banning the growing practice of copay accumulators used by health plans and PBMs to deny patient cost-sharing assistance.

According to the sponsors, health plans and PBMs collect patients’ deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum amounts as indicated in patients’ annual health plan contracts. However, when copay accumulator policies are in effect, health plans and PBMs collect more than their fair share since they accept third-party payments yet still require patients to pay out-of-pocket until their annual contractual cost-share obligation is met.

Since health plans and PBMs collect patient cost-sharing payments that meet or exceed the patients’ annual contracted amounts, there should be no adverse effect on premium rates. In fact, research from the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) shows no significant change in the rates of health insurance premium increases after banning copay accumulators in 19 states and Puerto Rico.

This bill is sponsored by the California Rheumatology Alliance as well as several other healthcare provider and patient advocacy organizations.

Position: Support
Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee

 

AB 3063 (McKinnor) – Pharmacies: Compounding

This bill clarifies that the addition of a flavoring agent to enhance the palatability of a prescription does not constitute compounding. This measure will affirm existing standards and practices at pharmacies across California, bringing the practice of flavoring back to independent and retail pharmacies, thereby making it easier for parents, children, and those with developmental disabilities to have access to medicine they will actually take. This measure is critical to ensure public health and reflects an urgency clause. Further, the provisions of the bill will sunset in 2030.

The author’s office claims, “Pharmacies in California have been flavoring children’s liquid medications for decades to successfully help millions of children take their prescribed medicines by enhancing palatability. Flavoring of children’s medications has been authorized by the California Board of Pharmacy (Board) since 2014, but the Board is poised to reverse its longstanding position by adopting new regulations that would in-effect repeal the exemption for flavoring of medication.

This is an unintended consequence of the passage of AB 973 (Irwin, Chapter 184) in 2019, which directs the Board to require the compounding of drug preparations to be consistent with standards established by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). The United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) is an independent, non-governmental organization that establishes pharmaceutical compounding standards. In November 2022, the USP reiterated its definition of compounding and issued a guidance document which states that flavoring falls within the purview of USP. The Board is set to adopt USP’s standards, which would result in most pharmacies in California no longer offering flavoring for customers. As a result, on November 1, 2023, the number of pharmacies providing flavoring dropped from 3,100 to roughly 50 total – a whopping 99.5% reduction in access to the service, literally overnight.”

Position: Neutral
Status: Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee

 

SB 1008 (Bradford) – Obesity Treatment Parity Act

This bill would expand coverage to California patients by requiring parity with other chronic diseases for coverage of obesity treatment.

According to the sponsors, “Obesity is a serious disease that affects more than 14.5 million people in the state of California. That’s about 37% of the state’s population. Obesity disproportionately affects people of color in California and people living below the poverty line are 1.5 times more likely to be obese than those living above the poverty line.

Higher rates of obesity mean these adults face an increased risk for chronic illnesses. Often, they are left without substantial health insurance coverage to get the care they need.

In California, obesity-related costs are the highest in the United States, at an estimated $15.2 billion annually.”

Position: Support
Status: Held in Senate Appropriations Committee

 

SB 1365 (Glazer) – Pharmacy: Ratio

This bill would increase the pharmacist/tech ratio to 4:1.

Position: Support if Amended
Status: Held in Senate Appropriations Committee

 

2023 Priority Legislation

SB 70 (Wiener) – Prescription Drug Coverage

SB 70 strengthens 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 when a provider prescribes a new dose or dosage form for the same drug to improve its efficacy. By expanding this coverage and these protections, SB 70 strengthens patient stability.

Position: Support
Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee

 

SB 524 (Caballero) – Pharmacy Practice: Test-to-Treat

SB 524 would expand access to critical health care services for Californians by allowing pharmacists to directly administer treatment to patients for a limited number of conditions. Pharmacists currently have the authority to perform testing for specified diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19, influenza and RSV. This bill expands upon this authorization to allow pharmacists to also provide direct treatment for patients following certain positive test results.

Position: Support
Status: Assembly Appropriations

 

SB 786 (Portantino) – Prescription Drug Pricing

This bill is intended to address the discriminatory practice of some PBMs that reimburse 340B covered entities less in payment for provider’s pharmacy services than they reimburse non-safety net pharmacies.

Position: Support
Status: Signed into law by Governor, October 07, 2023

 

SB 873 (Bradford) – Prescription Drugs: Cost Sharing

This bill, would require an enrollee’s or insured’s defined cost sharing for each prescription drug to be calculated at the point of sale based on a price that is reduced by an amount equal to 90% of all rebates received, or to be received, in connection with the dispensing or administration of the drug. The bill would require a health care service plan or health insurer to, among other things, pass through to each enrollee or insured at the point of sale a good faith estimate of the enrollee’s or insured’s decrease in cost sharing.

The bill would require a health care service plan or health insurer to calculate an enrollee’s or insured’s defined cost sharing and provide that information to the dispensing pharmacy, as specified.

Position: Support
Status: Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee

 

AB 602 (Pellerin) – California State Board of Pharmacy: Emergency Refills: Report

This bill would require the Board of Pharmacy, on or before February 28, 2025, to submit a report to the legislature regarding the total number of times a pharmacist refilled a prescription for a dangerous drug or device without the prescriber’s authorization.

This bill would require the report to also include total number of complaints submitted by consumers alleging that a pharmacist failed to refill a prescription for a dangerous drug or device because the prescriber was unavailable to authorize the refill and would require the board to make a reasonable effort to determine how many of these complaints resulted from pharmacist’s failure to refill a prescription due to a lack of understanding of the full authority vested in the pharmacist under existing law.

This bill would require the board to take reasonable steps to ensure that all pharmacists are fully aware of their authority to refill a prescription of a dangerous drug or device when the prescriber is unavailable.

Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Status: Gutted/amended in the Senate. This is no longer a pharmacy related bill

 

 AB 647 (Holden), Sponsor: United Food and Commercial Workers

AB 647 prevents mass layoffs of trained and skilled grocery store and pharmacy workers and ensures a consistency in food safety and pharmaceutical knowledge among communities by strengthening statewide grocery worker retention and adopting grocery worker recall and rehiring laws. This bill will strengthen the existing California Grocery Worker Retention Law.

Position: Support
Status: Signed into law by Governor, October 08, 2023

 

 AB 663 (Haney) – Pharmacy: Mobile Units

AB 663 would allow mobile pharmacies to provide medications for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment. This change would help expand local efforts to prevent overdose deaths and improve access to health care for some of our most vulnerable populations.

Position: Support
Status: Signed into law by Governor, October 08, 2023

 

AB 815 (Wood) – Health Care Coverage: Provider Credentials

This proposal would simplify and streamline the health care provider credentialing process for providers and health plans.

Position: Support
Status: 2-Year Bill. Senate Health Committee

 

AB 874 (Weber) – Health Care Coverage: Out-of-Pocket Expenses

This bill will ban the use of copay accumulator programs. The bill will require health insurance plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to apply any amount paid by the insured through copay assistance to the patient’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.

Position: Support
Status: Assembly Health Committee – Hearing Postponed by Committee

 

AB 948 (Berman) – Prescription Drugs

Since 2017, Californians have been protected from rising prescription drug costs with a $250 co-pay cap for their medication, but that consumer protection is set to expire next year without legislative action. AB 948 would make permanent the existing $250 co-pay cap for a 30-day prescription drug supply, ensuring consumers can continue counting on their monthly prescription drug costs staying within reach.

Position: Support
Status: Signed into law by Governor, October 13, 2023

 

AB 1092 (Wood) – Health Care service Plans: Consolidation

This bill would require a health plan that intends to acquire or obtain control of an entity through a change of governance or control of a material amount of assets of that entity to give notice to, and secure prior approval from, the director of the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC).

Position: Support
Status: Held in Senate Appropriations Committee

 

AB 1286 (Haney) – Pharmacy

This legislation would make a number of changes to pharmacy law including:

Position: Support
Status: Signed into law by Governor, October 8, 2023

 

AB 1341 (Berman) Public health: COVID-19: Testing and Dispensing Sites: Oral Therapeutics

This bill, until January 1, 2025, would authorize a pharmacist to furnish COVID-19 oral therapeutics, as defined, following a positive test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as specified.

Position: Support
Status: Signed into law by Governor, September 30, 2023

 

AB 1557 (Flora) – Pharmacy: Electronic Prescriptions

Authorizes a pharmacist located and licensed in the state to, on behalf of a licensed hospital, from a location outside of the hospital, verify medication chart orders for appropriateness.

Authorizes a pharmacist located and licensed in the state to, on behalf of a licensed hospital, from a location outside of the hospital, verify medication chart orders for appropriateness.

Position: Support
Status: Signed into law by Governor, September 01, 2023

 

AB 1619 (Dixon) – Prescription Drug Warning Label for Cannabis Interaction

This bill would require a pharmacy or healing arts licensee that dispenses a prescription drug to a patient for outpatient use that has major or moderate interactions with cannabis or cannabidiol products.

Position: Oppose/Amended
Status: Dead