Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Contact Members of the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Appropriations Subcommittee TODAY Regarding PROPOSED TENNCARE CUTS!

Proposed TennCare Budget Cuts

TPA continues to work with legislators to discuss the 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 TODAY 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 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.

The Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Appropriations Subcommittee will discuss the budget amendment (Amendment #224 by Senator McNally) that restores the proposed pharmacy cuts during their subcommittee meeting on Monday, April 6, 2015. TPA urges you to contact the following individuals to discuss the impact these cuts will have on your patients and your pharmacy practice.

Email Phone
Bo Watson, Chair sen.Bo.Watson@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-3227
Randy McNally sen.Randy.McNally@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-6806
Mark Norris sen.Mark.Norris@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-1967
Reginald Tate sen.Reginald.Tate@capitol.tn.gov (615) 741-2509

TPA Legislative Update(1) The Pharmacy Drug Disposal Act (House Bill 229 by Shepard, Windle, Love, Pitts, Terry, Shaw, Clemmons, Howell, Favors, Sexton C, Lamberth, Hardaway / Senate Bill 0409 by Overbey) was passed by the Tennessee House and the Tennessee Senate unopposed and signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam on March 27, 2015! The “Ensuring Patient Access to Pharmacy Drug Disposal Programs Act of 2015,” codified as Public Chapter 40, authorizes pharmacies to participate in pharmacy drug disposal programs.
  • CLICK HERE to access a summary of this important pharmacy practice legislation.
TPA would like to thank Representative David Shepard and Senator Doug Overbey, as well as the numerous co-sponsors of the bill, for supporting this important legislation. Public Chapter 40 becomes effective on July 1, 2015.

(2) Pharmacy Robbery Enhancement Factor (House Bill 587 by Shepard / Senate Bill 593 by Haile) was passed by both the House Criminal Justice Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee! TPA continues to work with Representative and pharmacist Dr. David Shepard and Senator and pharmacist Dr. Ferrell Haile on this very important piece of legislation to address an alarming issue that 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.

TPA would like to thank Senator Ferrell Haile and Representative David Shepard for supporting this legislation, and TPA will continue to work with legislators to urge funding for SB593/HB587.

(3) Exemption of Sales and Use Tax for Diabetes Testing Supplies (House Bill 0122 by Shepard / Senate Bill 0033 by Overbey) was passed by the House Health Committee and will be considered by the Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee. As introduced, this bill exempts diabetes testing supplies from sales and use tax.

  • CLICK HERE for a summary of this proposed legislation.

TPA would like to thank Senator Doug Overbey and Representative David Shepard for supporting this legislation, and TPA will continue to work with legislators to urge funding for SB0033/HB0122.

TPA appreciates and greatly values the work that you, our valued members, 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 important pharmacy-related issues!