National News
 
House Passes 2 Bills to Improve Prescription Drug Databases
The House of Representatives unanimously passed a pair of bills aimed at increasing the accuracy and transparency of the FDA's Orange Book and its Purple Book databases. In a joint statement released by Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) following the House approval of the Orange Book Transparency Act of 2019, and the Purple Book Continuity Act of 2019, the lawmakers said the generic and biosimilar manufacturers depend on the 2 databases to bring more affordable medications to the market.

Judge Orders FDA To Speed Up Review Of E-Cigarettes
A federal judge is siding with public health groups suing the Food and Drug Administration to begin reviewing thousands of e-cigarettes on the U.S. market. The ruling handed down Wednesday in district court states that the agency shirked its legal duty when it postponed reviewing all U.S. vaping products by several years.
Published by The Associated Press
 
Can A Business Owner Require Staffers To Get Vaccinated? 
Small business owners worried about the spread of measles may want to be sure their staffers have been vaccinated, but before issuing any orders, they should speak with a labor law attorney or human resources consultant. An employer generally is prohibited from requiring employees to undergo medical procedures including vaccinations under the Americans with Disabilities Act; a company that tries to force staffers to be vaccinated can find itself being sued by angry workers. But there can be exceptions, especially in places where there's a measles outbreak or where government officials have ordered vaccinations to protect the public's health.
Published by The Associated Press
 
Stressed At Work? Burnout Is A Serious Problem, Says World Health Organization 
The World Health Organization is bringing attention to the problem of work-related stress. The group announced this week that it is updating its definition of burnout in the new version of its handbook of diseases, the International Classification of Diseases - ICD-11 - which will go into effect in January 2022. The new definition calls it a "syndrome" and specifically ties burnout to "chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed."
By Chatterjee and Wroth, Published by NPR
 
Passengers Can Check Or Carry On CBD, Hemp Products, TSA Says 
In an update to its website's "What Can I Bring?" section, the Travel Security Administration clarified that Food and Drug Administration-approved hemp products like certain CBD medications are now allowed in both carry-on and checked bags. The clarified language was quietly posted Sunday, May 26, 2019.
By Gross, Published in Miami Herald
State News

COLORADO
Insulin Co-Pays Capped At $100 For Insured Residents
A new law , signed by Gov. Jared Polis, caps co-payments of the lifesaving medication at $100 a month for insured patients, regardless of the supply they require. Insurance companies will have to absorb the balance.
The law also directs the state's attorney general to launch an investigation into how prescription insulin prices are set throughout the state and make recommendations to the legislature.
Colorado is the first state to enact such sweeping legislation aiming to shield patients from dramatic insulin price increases.  Published by NPR (edited )
 
GEORGIA
Anti-Steering Bills Signed
In a huge victory for patients and pharmacists, Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed two PBM anti-steering bills into law yesterday. HB 233 is a bill that prohibits pharmacies from profiting off of prescriptions "steered" from their PBM and insurance affiliates, and HB 323 restricts PBM and insurer patient "steering," strengthens anti-mandatory mail order, adds additional audit protections, prohibits PBMs from knowingly misleading patients, and restricts mining of patient data. These bills are the first in the nation of their kind to become law. Congratulations to the Georgia Pharmacy Association and all the Georgia pharmacists who worked hard to get these bills passed.  Published by NCPA
 
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Insurance Chief Suspended As He Fights Fraud Charges
Jim Beck, Georgia's insurance commissioner, is now officially suspended from office in the wake of his federal indictment Tuesday on charges of fraud and money laundering. Beck announced Thursday that he was voluntarily taking a suspension. The insurance department said that in his absence, Drew Lane, the chief deputy commissioner, would perform the duties of commissioner as outlined under state law.
By Miller, Published in Georgia Health News
 
 
MINNESOTA
Governor signs PBM licensure bill
by NCPA | May 20, 2019
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) has signed SF 278, the Minnesota Pharmacy Benefit Manager Licensure and Regulation Act which will require licensure of PBMs in Minnesota. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and with only two dissenting votes in the House.
 
The legislation is Minnesota's first step to license and regulate PBMs. Kudos to the Minnesota Pharmacists Association for their leadership in getting the bill passed. Minnesota is home to OptumRx and Prime Therapeutics and has a significant PBM employee footprint in Minnesota, but the measure passed on bipartisan votes.  Published By NCPA
 
 
NORTH CAROLINA
Treasurer Moves Forward With Health Care Pricing Plan Despite Uncertainty

State treasurer Dale Folwell released the details of the contracts he wants North Carolina's health care providers to sign if they want to participate in the health plan covering state employees, retirees and their families. The contracts, part of what Folwell is calling the Clear Pricing Project, reworks the way that health care providers are reimbursed. Some providers, in particular hospitals, will feel the pinch under the plan, which pegs prices paid by the State Health Plan to those paid by the federal Medicare program for services.
By Hoban, Published in North Carolina Health News
 
OKLAHOMA
NCPA urges Oklahoma governor to sign PBM regulation bill
For the second time this session, the Oklahoma State Legislature has unanimously passed a bill that would protect patient access to community pharmacies. The first bill was vetoed by Gov. Kevin Stitt to avoid potential lawsuits by the PBMs. HB 2632 , however, contains changes to address those concerns while maintaining robust protections for patients and community pharmacies. NCPA sent a letter to Stitt urging him to sign HB 2632 into law.
Published by NCPA
 
WASHINGTON
'Public Option' Health Care Plans

Millions of Americans who buy individual health insurance, and don't qualify for a federal subsidy, have been hit with sticker shock in recent years. Instability and uncertainty in the individual market - driven in part by changes Congress and the Trump administration made to the Affordable Care Act - have resulted in double-digit premium increases. Now Washington state has passed a law designed to give consumers another choice: a new, "public option" health insurance plan that, in theory, will be cheaper.
By Jenkins, Published by NPR
PFOA Board of Directors
2018-2019
President
Todd Pendergraft

Dirk Andrepont
Ron Robichaux
Vice President
Doug Coyle

Gabriel Guijarro
Ty Stout
Secretary
Phil Rigsby

Gaye Moseman
John Zuzak

Treasurer
Larry McIntosh

Eric Pusey 

PFOA-MS Board of Directors
President
Dirk Andrepont

Secretary/Treasurer
John Zuzak

David Cole
Phil Rigsby


PFOA-MC Board of Directors
President
Eric Pusey
Vice President

Secretary/Treasurer
Bobbie Barbrey

For Board of Directors contact information, please call 314-843-5977