Tennessee Pharmacists Association

LEGISLATIVE SUCCESS AND ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES!

Update: The “Ensuring Patient Access to Pharmacy Drug Disposal Programs Act of 2015” was passed by the Tennessee House and the Tennessee Senate unopposed!

  • HB 0229 by Shepard, Windle, Love, Pitts, Terry, Shaw, Clemmons, Howell, Favors, Sexton C, Lamberth, Hardaway / SB 0409 by Overbey, McNally, Yarbro
  • CLICK HERE to access a summary of this important pharmacy practice legislation, which will now be transmitted to Governor Haslam to be signed into law.

TPA would like to recognize and thank Representative David Shepard and Senator Doug Overbey for introducing this important legislation, as well as each of the co-sponsors and members of the Tennessee General Assembly, for their support for pharmacy’s role in voluntary drug disposal programs. TPA would also like to thank each of you for supporting this legislation and for contacting your legislator to ask for their support!

Two Additional Opportunities to Contact Your Senators and Representatives Regarding Pharmacy Issues

(1) Pharmacy Robbery Enhancement Factor (House Bill 587 by Shepard / Senate Bill 593 by Haile)
TPA is working with Representative and pharmacist Dr. David Shepard and Senator and pharmacist Dr. Ferrell Haile on a very important piece of legislation to address an alarming issue which is increasingly affecting our pharmacists, our pharmacy professionals, and especially our patients every single day. Tennessee currently ranks 5th in the nation in pharmacy robberies. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), pharmacy robberies rose 81% nationwide between 2006 and 2010 (380 to 686 nationwide). Further, between January 2012 and January 2013, 730 chain and retail pharmacies in the United States reported armed robberies. Pharmacies are our most frequented health-care facilities and are located in easily accessible public places. Unfortunately, everyone is at risk when pharmacies become the focus of criminal activity. The risks also spread into the surrounding community following a pharmacy robbery, because when controlled substances are unlawfully taken during this crime, these medications often make it onto the street or into our schools, further fueling the cycle of prescription drug abuse and misuse.

TPA is very concerned about this increasing trend and is working with legislators on changes in the Tennessee Code which would allow judges to enhance penalties for individuals who commit robbery against pharmacists, pharmacy professionals, and patients on the premises of a licensed pharmacy in an effort to unlawfully obtain, sell, give, or exchange a controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, or other illegal drug.

CLICK HERE for a summary of this proposed legislation.

The bill is scheduled to be discussed THIS WEEK!

Please contact your Representatives and Senators, especially the members of the House Criminal Justice Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee (see below), and urge them to support this important pharmacy legislation. In order to protect the citizens of Tennessee, stiffer penalties must be available to deter such heinous acts. Increasing penalties for pharmacy robberies alone is not the only solution to this problem, but legislative action would be an important first step to improve public safety and keep prescription drugs obtained through criminal activity off our streets and out of our communities.
(2) Proposed TennCare Budget Cuts

TPA continues to work with legislators to discuss the negative impact of the proposed pharmacy budget cuts contained in the TennCare Proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, which includes over $24 million in proposed cuts to the TennCare Pharmacy Program. A detailed document outlining these proposed cuts can be found by CLICKING HERE. As pharmacists, student pharmacists, and TPA members, it is imperative that you contact your elected officials to discuss these proposed cuts and the negative impact the cuts will have on patients and your pharmacy practice if implemented. For a summary of the TennCare Proposed FY 2016 Budget Cuts, CLICK HERE.

Proposed Cuts (with proposed amount of reduction):

  • Increased Buprenorphine Limits [$1.5 million (state) / $4.5 million (total)]
  • Compounding Cuts [$908,300 (state) / $2.6 million (total)]
  • Pharmacy AWP Direct Reimbursement Cuts [$6 million (state) / $17 million (total)]

Additional Budget Resources:
– To access an electronic copy of the recommended base budget reductions (pages 28-29) for fiscal year 2015-2016, CLICK HERE.
– To access an electronic copy of the complete recommended budget for fiscal year 2015-2016, CLICK HERE.

TPA urges you to continue to contact your state Senator and Representative to discuss the negative impact these cuts will have on your patients and your pharmacy practice.


 

Contact Information for the House Criminal Justice Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee

Senate Judiciary Committee Email Phone
Brian Kelsey, Chair sen.Brian.Kelsey@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-3036
Doug Overbey, 1st Vice-Chair sen.Doug.Overbey@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-0981
Janice Bowling, 2nd Vice-Chair sen.Janice.Bowling@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-6694
Mike Bell sen.Mike.Bell@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-1946
Todd Gardenhire sen.Todd.Gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-6682
Lee Harris sen.Lee.Harris@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-1767
Sara Kyle sen.Sara.Kyle@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-4167
Kerry Roberts sen.Kerry.Roberts@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-4499
John Stevens sen.John.Stevens@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-4576
House Criminal Justice Committee Email Phone
William Lamberth, Chair Rep.William.Lamberth@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-1980
Micah Van Huss, Vice-Chair rep.Micah.VanHuss@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-1717
Raumesh Akbari rep.Raumesh.Akbari@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-3830
Sheila Butt rep.Sheila.Butt@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-3005
Andrew Farmer rep.Andrew.Farmer@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-4419
Tilman Goins rep.Tilman.Goins@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-6877
Antonio Parkinson rep.Antonio.Parkinson@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-4575
Mike Stewart rep.Mike.Stewart@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-2184
Terri Lynn Weaver rep.Terri.Lynn.Weaver@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-2192

 

TPA appreciates and greatly values the work you do every day to improve the lives of patients and to advance the pharmacy profession. Thank you for your assistance and advocacy efforts with regard to these two important issues!