4 State Legislative Actions Affecting Prescriptions

JUNE 05, 2016
Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor
3. Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act Amendment
The Illinois House of Representatives recently approved SB 1564, which would amend the state’s Health Care Right of Conscience Act that currently affords health care providers the right to use religious objections to refuse to provide services inconsistent with their beliefs.
As it relates to pharmacists, SB 1564 would prohibit pharmacists from refusing to provide “family planning, counseling, referrals, or any other advice in connection with the use or procurement of contraceptives and sterilization or abortion procedures, [or] medications.”
Health care providers wishing to invoke a right of conscious have 3 options under the bill’s current form:
·         Refer the patient to another provider
·         Transfer the patient to another provider
·         Provide a list of other providers they reasonably believe would provide the service in question
Opponents say the act amounts to requiring pro-life health care providers at all levels to “participate in abortion.”
The bill passed by a 61-54 margin and is now awaiting signature from Governor Bruce Rauner.
4. Arizona’s Substitution of Interchangeable Biologic Medicines Law
Arizona’s new Substitution of Interchangeable Biologic Medicines law allows pharmacists in the state to switch out the medication on a written prescription for a similar medication.
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization said in a statement that the new law “properly preserve[s] patient access to accurate prescription information, maintain[s] incentives for innovation, and promote[s] a competitive market for biologic therapies.”
Therapeutic substitution is a controversial practice because of concerns relating to drug efficacy, adverse effects, drug interactions, and different indications for drugs despite being in the same class.
The law is the first of its kind in the US.