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APA Advocate - January 30, 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018  
Posted by: Leisa Johnson
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January 30, 2018

IN THIS ISSUE:


URGENT: Immediate Action Needed on HB232

All APA members are asked to contact the House Judiciary Committee to ask they vote no on this bill. The bill states that anyone who unlawfully “prescribes or dispenses” a scheduled controlled substance is guilty of the crime of unlawful distribution of a CS. APA is extremely concerned that the language could have unintentional consequences and could create huge liability for all pharmacists. Any unintended error could be construed as an “unlawful distribution”. Help us make sure this doesn’t come out of committee this week. Here are the House Judiciary members:

Jim Hill (Chair) -jim.hill@alhouse.gov
Matt Fridy (Vice-Chair) -mdfridy@gmail.com
Marcel Black – no email listed
Mike Ball -mikeball@knology.net
Paul Beckman -paulbeckmanjr@yahoo.com
Prince Chestnut -prince.chestnut@alhouse.gov
Merika Coleman -merika.coleman@alhouse.gov
Dickie Drake -ddrake1080@aol.com
Chris England (Sponsor of this bill) -cengland1@hotmail.com
Allen Farley -allenfarley@bellsouth.net
David Faulkner -david.faulkner@alhouse.gov
Mike Holmes -mike.holmes@alhouse.gov
Thad McClammy -thadmcclammy@aol.com
Phillip Pettus -phillip.pettus@alhouse.gov
Tim Wadsworth -wadsworth@centurytel.net

Email Bobby Giles atbobgiles68@gmail.comwith what you hear back from these legislators.

Sample language you can use in your email to legislators:

HB 232 by Rep. Chris England dangerously amends the “drug distribution” statute. HB 232 would empower local and state law enforcement to charge pharmacists, dentists and physicians with illegal distribution of controlled substances but without any safeguards in place to ensure those prosecuted are actually prescribing or dispensing inappropriately. Violations would be a Class B felony.

While supposedly an effort to curb the drug abuse epidemic, HB 232 threatens access to care and could make the crisis worse. If HB 232 became law, a pharmacist charged with drug distribution would have fewer rights in criminal court than he or she would in a civil suit.

HB 232 is not the answer to the drug abuse epidemic. Better education of prescribers and dispensers, better treatment options for those affected and better utilization of technology – all as called for by the Governor’s Opioid Council – are more appropriate.

Please oppose HB 232!!


Plan to Join Us for APA's Legislative Events - Coming SOON!

With the early start to the 2018 legislative session, our legislative events are scheduled earlier as well. Both of our events will be taking place PRIOR to the APA Mid-Winter Conference.The Student Lunch is NEXT WEDNESDAYand theLegislative Reception is the following Tuesday.

APA's Student Legislative Lunch - February 7, 2018 - NEXT WEDNESDAY

More than 400 student pharmacists participated in last year's lunch on the Capitol lawn. This event allows students to learn about the importance of advocacy, hear from individuals involved in the political process, and interact with legislators during and after lunch. Make plans to help us take the hill again!

REGISTER FOR APA STUDENT LEGISLATIVE LUNCH

APA's Legislative Reception - February 13, 2018

The potential impact and overall success of this event is in YOUR hands. Legislators are looking for their constituents when they attend our reception. We always try to have at least one APA member from each legislative district represented at the reception. Mark your calendars now for Tuesday, February 13. The reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the RSA Plaza Terrace and Grill. Prior to the reception we plan to have a brief overview of legislative issues at 4 p.m.

REGISTER FOR APA LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION


SB67 Passes in the Senate

SB67 by Senator Paul Bussman passed out of committee last Wednesday and was passed by vote on the Senate floor the next day. It now moves to the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee. Representative Elaine Beech has introduced companion bill HB299. Existing law provides for a refund to pharmaceutical service providers for overpayment of the supplemental privilege tax on pharmaceutical services paid by those providers in the form of a credit against future taxes. This bill would authorize the Department of Revenue, upon petition by a pharmaceutical service provider who is entitled to a credit of the supplemental privilege tax on pharmaceutical services and has unused credit remaining after October 1, 2018, to refund the provider the remaining credit. APA strongly supports passage of this bill and will keep you posted on its status.Click here to read more.


SB200/HB270 Bills Revising PDMP Introduced

Bills have been introduced in both houses to amend laws related to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). This legislation would create a review committee that may approve the release or publication of de-identified aggregate statewide and regional health information for statistical, research, or educational purposes. SB200 recently passed out of the Senate Health Committee.


PAC a Punch! Support the APA PAC

The APA PAC is a non-partisan political organization established in 1988. Its purpose is to support the nomination or election of a candidate or to promote or defeat a ballot question. It's a state PAC fund and its donations are limited to state offices/campaigns.

The PAC Board oversees the fund and its disbursements. Campaign contributions are made to candidates who are "pharmacy friendly," including those who have supported pharmacy initiatives in the past. Individual and corporate donations are accepted and can be made by cash, check, or credit card. Recurring payments on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis are also accepted. You can either call the APA office at 334-271-4222 or visit the donation page on APA's website. Under Alabama law, an individual or corporation may contribute unlimited amounts to the APA PAC.


Other 2018 Bills Impacting Pharmacy

HB61/SB32– Under existing law, the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy is responsible for regulating the practice of pharmacy and the management and operation of pharmacies in the state. This bill would require outsourcing facilities to annually register with the board by application for a permit.

SB105- This bill would propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to repeal Amendment 225 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 211.04 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended; to limit the state income tax deduction for federal income taxes for individual taxpayers; to exempt sales of food and over-the-counter drugs from state sales tax; and to prohibit local governments from levying separate sales taxes only on the sale of food or over-the-counter drugs.

HB84/SB39- This bill would add certain named chemical compounds of Fentanyl and synthetic controlled substance Fentanyl analogues to Schedule I of the controlled substance list. Possession, distribution, and trafficking of these compounds would be deemed unlawful, and violations would be subject to the existing criminal penalties, as well as enhanced penalties, for distribution.

SB67/HB299– Existing law provides for a refund to pharmaceutical service providers for overpayment of the supplemental privilege tax on pharmaceutical services paid by those providers in the form of a credit against future taxes. This bill would authorize the Department of Revenue, upon petition by a pharmaceutical service provider who is entitled to a credit of the supplemental privilege tax on pharmaceutical services and has unused credit remaining after October 1, 2018, to refund the provider the remaining credit.

SB144- Under existing law, the State Board of Pharmacy is responsible for the licensing and regulation of pharmacists. This bill would provide further for the employment of an executive secretary and would require the board to establish minimum eligibility requirements for the executive secretary. This bill would require any attorney employed by the board to possess a pharmacy degree and be in good standing with the state bar association. This bill would also require the board to furnish the executive secretary and any attorney employed by the board with sufficient office space and office equipment.

SB155– Under Leni’s Law, cannabidiol, a compound derived from marijuana, may be used to treat certain debilitating medical conditions. This bill would review the definition of cannabidiol.



Help Us Grow Our Legislative Roots Deep with the APA Legislative Tree

One of the most powerful tools in APA’s political toolbelt, is a member who either has a connection to a legislator, or a member who is willing to contact their legislator. It’s as simple as that. Elected officials don’t necessarily want to hear about pharmacy’s position on issues from APA staff – they want to hear from their constituents; from those in their district who can tell them how it will impact the citizens they serve.

To accomplish this, APA has a legislative tree – a listing of members who have key relationships with delegates. You may know them from church, or school, or maybe you are their pharmacist…or maybe you don’t know them at all, but you are willing to reach out if asked.

On the fence? Those who sign up to participate in the tree may be asked to contact their legislator either by email, phone call, or a visit if possible. Sometimes we ask members to meet with a legislator to deliver a campaign contribution from the APA PAC, and sometimes we just need a name to mention when lobbying them on an issue.

If you aren’t already part of our legislative tree, download this printable form, or call the office at 334-271-4222.

That’s all it takes and it can make all the difference.

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