MPARX

Maine Pharmacy Association

DHHS shared guidance documents for e-prescribing and opioid dispensing

DHHS shared guidance documents for e-prescribing and opioid dispensing.  Notably, “A pharmacist is NOT required to verify that a practitioner has a waiver of the requirement to electronically prescribe…” To review the official documents, please click on the links below. Electronic-Prescribing-Clarifications Opioid Dispensing Clarification    

E-Prescribing Grace Period Notice and Chapter 488 User Guide

The deadline for mandatory e-prescribing of opioids was rapidly approaching on July 1st. However, the State sent the following communication announcing a 31 day grace period for enforcement of the penalties for violating the e-prescribing provision.  This is good news and will give prescribers and dispensers a little more time to prepare. DHHS provided material on other provisions in Chapter […]

2017 Scholarship Golf Scramble

Join us for our 2017 Scholarship Golf Scramble ! Where: Val Halla Country Club When: Saturday, August 12, 2017 Shotgun start 1pm Includes 18 holes of golf on a championship course, golf cart, BBQ dinner at Rachel’s on the Green! Cost: Single Golfer: $110.00 Foursome: $400.00 Dinner Only: $35.00 Corporate or personal hole sponsorship: $75 […]

Pharmacists from across Maine convene in Augusta to advocate for profession and patients

Pharmacists and pharmacy students from across the state convened in Augusta on May 30th to advocate for LD 572.   Update: Senate passes LD 572; now on to the House!  LD 572 specifies in statute that the “Practice of Pharmacy” is “the provision of health care services” and that “Pharmacists” are “providers of health care services”. […]

LD6 and LD44 Are Successfully Moving Through the Legislative Process

Good news!!  Two bills, LD 6, an “An Act to Prohibit Insurance Carriers from Retroactively Reducing Payment on Clean Claims Submitted by Pharmacies” and LD 455, “An Act Relating to the Provision of Smoking Cessation Services by Pharmacists” are moving through the legislature process. LD 6, an “An Act to Prohibit Insurance Carriers from Retroactively Reducing Payment on […]

Maine lawmakers are close to wrapping up this legislative session.  Here are updates of bills that will affect the practice of  pharmacy…

 
LD 455: Relating to the provision of tobacco cessation services by pharmacists
Summary: This bill amends the laws governing the practice of pharmacy to expressly include tobacco cessation counseling services and the furnishing of over-the-counter nicotine replacement products approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. It also requires pharmacists to be reimbursed by the MaineCare program for these products and the corresponding counseling. 
Status: This bill has passed the House and Senate and is on the Governor’s desk.
LD 456: Increased access to adolescent vaccinations.
SummaryThis bill allows the administration of certain vaccines by a pharmacist to a person 11 years of age and older, instead of 18 years of age and older as in current law. 
Status: This bill has passed the House.  Senate has placed the bill on the special appropriations table pending enactment.  (This bill may not make survive appropriations, $$$).
LD 1594: Regarding the prescribing and dispensing of naloxone by pharmacists
SummaryThis bill provides that a pharmacist may prescribe and dispense naloxone hydrochloride to an individual at risk of experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose or to a person in a position to assist such an individual. 
Status: passed in House and Senate.  On the way to the Governor’s desk.
 
LD 572: Amend the laws governing the practice of pharmacy. 
SummaryThis bill specifies that the practice of pharmacy is the provision of health care services.
Status: Passed in Senate.  Defeated in House.  Sent back to House by Senate.  House defeated the “recede and concur” motion from the Senate.  Thus, the bill is defeated in the House by a vote of 76-72 with 3 absences.  

 

The outcome of LD 572 is especially unfortunate because the pharmacy community rallied behind this bill.  On March 7th, 2017, there was standing room only in the LCRED Committee room as pharmacists and pharmacy students from across the state testified in support of this bill.  The public records reflect 32 individuals (pharmacists, physicians and health system administrators) testifying in support.  In May, we had a letter writing campaign with over 100 letters of support sent to Senators and Representatives.  Recently, on May 30th, approximately 50 pharmacists and pharmacy students from across the state convened in Augusta again to advocate for LD 572.  I appreciate everyone’s effort whether you emailed your Representative, wrote your Senator, or advocated in person on March 7th or May 30th.  Unfortunately, our efforts were unsuccessful this time.  We won’t give up!  We’ll be back in the next session (with lessons learned from this year) asking for recognition of pharmacists as providers of health care services.
Best regards,
Mac

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