January 17, 2023
TPA’s legislative and regulatory committee along with the Board of Directors has identified several legislative and regulatory priorities in 2023. As the legislative session moves into its second week, TPA is focusing on building support for its priority bills and supporting efforts of broader coalitions. Next week on Wednesday, January 25th from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CT, TPA will host a free webinar for members (small fee for non-members) to provide a deeper preview of the 2023 Legislative Session with TPA’s Advocacy Team. Register today!
One priority will focus on amending the law relative to the prescription drug donation repository program. This effort will look to broaden the definition of donors for such programs, redefine income qualifiers as less than 600% of the federal poverty level, and extend acceptable medications to include inhalers, patches, injectables, and over-the-counter medications. TPA is working closely with the leadership at the drug donation repository program to allow this program to continue to align with national standards for such programs around the country. TPA is working closely with Senator Reeves to serve as a lead sponsor of this bill.
A second priority will be to gain pharmacy technician representation on the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy. As pharmacy technician roles expand and evolve, the ability for the direct voice of pharmacy technicians on the Board of Pharmacy would ensure we are being inclusive to other pharmacy professionals regulated by the Board. TPA is scheduled to meet with Senator Haile this week to discuss this topic as it is addressed within a current bill he has proposed.
TPA continues to closely monitor two other topics that may need legislative action, but currently the focus is on effective regulation. The enforcement of PBM reform is critical to the success of Public Chapter 1070, 2022’s PBM legislation. TPA continues to work closely with members and the leadership of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance on this issue. Also, TPA is focused on expanding access to pharmacists services through modernizing the collaborative practice agreement regulations. TPA is working closely with the Tennessee Medical Association to build consensus amongst their members and then provide a unified message to the regulatory boards to update the CPA rules.
Positions & Other Issues:
TPA is working across a broad coalition of healthcare provider associations to recommend clean-up to Tennessee’s trigger law. TPA will seek further guidance on whether pharmacists can be prosecuted for dispensing medication with multiple uses if the patient uses the medication to result in an abortion. Pharmacists need clarification on protection to healthcare providers as they help their patients. Some medications contributing to pharmacists’ hesitancy or resistance to dispense them, include methotrexate, mifepristone, and misoprostol.
TPA has been approached by a small group to support legislation being sought by a previous Tennessee nurse that was criminally prosecuted for a medical error that led to patient harm. This criminal prosecution has made healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, concerned about just culture in our healthcare system and the criminalization of medical errors. TPA will look to support efforts to decriminalize medical errors in collaboration with other healthcare provider associations.
This year’s legislature welcomed three Senate Freshman and nineteen House Freshman. While it is critical for all pharmacists and TPA members to have a solid working relationship with your elected officials, TPA will be working to conduct outreach to members in these districts with Freshman legislators to help with building a strong relationship throughout session and beyond. TPA will continue to identify those TPA members that can serve as Champion Advocates and be the close contact with an elected official in every district in the state.
If you do not know who your legislators are, use the legislator finder tool. TPA’s Pharmacy Day on the Hill (February 28), which is held in tandem with the TPA Winter Meeting, is also a great opportunity to speak with your legislators and experts on the issues impacting pharmacy. You, and your relationship with your legislators, are the profession’s most important advocacy asset.
TPA continues to work with Meagan Frazier and Estie Harris to carry out our legislative priorities and response to the urgent issues impacting the profession at the state legislative level. Click here to review the current bill tracker, listing all bills that TPA is following on behalf of our members.
January 10, 2023
The 1st session of the 113th Tennessee General Assembly begins today as legislators return to the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.
This week also begins TPA’s focused legislative advocacy efforts at the capitol. With the contract lobbyist team from Harris Frazier, TPA will continue to work on building consensus amongst key stakeholders for our 2023 legislative and regulatory priorities and positions. On Wednesday, January 25th from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CT, TPA will host a free webinar for members (fee for non-members) to give a preview of the 2023 Legislative Session with TPA’s Advocacy Team. Register today!
At the same time, TPA continues to focus on ensuring the effective implementation of Public Chapter 1070. While emergency rules (link) have been effectively adopted, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance will be hosting a hearing for the regular rule-making process on Friday, February 3, 2023. TPA is looking for your ongoing feedback on how the emergency rules are effective or ineffective in enforcing PBM reform in Tennessee. Please submit your concerns and examples here.
We strongly encourage all of our members to reach out to your elected officials and introduce yourself as a resource on pharmacy and healthcare issues. If you do not know who your legislators are, use the legislator finder tool. TPA’s Pharmacy Day on the Hill (February 28), which is held in tandem with the TPA Winter Meeting, is also a great opportunity to hear from legislators and experts on the issues impacting pharmacy. You, and your relationship with your legislators, are the profession’s most important advocacy asset.
Each week throughout the session, TPA will provide updates through the 10 for Tenn e-newsletter as well as a general legislative summary from Harris Frazier. TPA will also provide a bill tracker, listing all bills TPA is following on behalf of our members. In addition, watch your inbox for Advocacy Alerts from TPA asking you to take part in a grassroots effort on particular legislation, telling you who to contact and what you need to say. These grassroots efforts are critical to our advocacy efforts.