Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Tennessee State Capitol

February 23, 2018

TPA Needs Your Help TODAY! 

Below are several important pieces of pharmacy-related legislation being considered by the Tennessee General Assembly. Please take a few minutes to contact your state legislators about the specific bills listed below!

Click the individual  buttons below to send an email to your state legislators through TPA’s Tennessee Pharmacists Legislative Action Network (T-PLAN) system, or CLICK HERE to look up the contact information for your elected state Representative and state Senator. (If you use T-PLAN to email your legislators, the system will automatically insert the correct addresses.)

PBM Licensing Through TN Dept of Commerce and Insurance

Action Needed: Please contact your state legislators TODAY and ask them to SUPPORT this important pharmacy initiative!

This legislation is currently being considered by the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee and the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee

Legislation: Senate Bill 1852 / House Bill 1857Senate Sponsor(s): Haile, Crowe, BellHouse Sponsor(s): Powers

  • Requires all pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) to obtain licensure and renew biennially through the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI)
  • Requires PBMs to demonstrate that they are able to transact in this state, are financially responsible, and have not had a prior license denied or revoked within five (5) years of the date the license is sought
  • Requires PBMs to provide TDCI with the person or entity’s name, address, telephone number, and website address
  • Requires PBMs to notify TDCI within 60 days of any change in PBM information

Governor Haslam’s TN Together Opioid Reform

Action Needed: Contact your state legislators and ask them to AMEND the Governor’s TN Together legislation with changes supported by TPA and many other professional associations and health care organizations. TPA has significant concerns about the legislation as introduced (see summary below), and amendments are needed to ensure that the Governor’s TN Together legislation achieves a patient-centered and practical legislative solution.

This legislation is currently being considered by the Tennessee General Assembly

Legislation: House Bill 1831 / Senate Bill 2257
Senate Sponsor(s): Norris, Haile, Yager
House Sponsor(s): Hawk, Casada, Kumar

Summary as Introduced:
  • Requires all dispensers (or their delegates) to check the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database (CSMD) prior to dispensing an opioid or a benzodiazepine the first time that human patient is dispensed a controlled substance at that practice site
  • Requires all dispensers (or their delegates) to check the CSMD again at least once every six (6) months for that human patient after the initial dispensing, for the duration of time the controlled substance is dispensed to that patient
  • Requires all dispensers (or their delegates) to check the CSMD prior to dispensing pursuant to any prescription with written instructions indicating the earliest date on which the prescription can be filled
  • Creates new definitions for “Acute Care Patient” and “Opioid Naïve”
  • Establishes practitioner documentation requirements, including informed consent and reasons for prescribing opioids
  • Limits initial opioid prescriptions for opioid naïve patients (patients who have not been treated with an opioid in the 30-day period prior to the date of treatment by a healthcare practitioner) to a 5-day supply
  • Allows a practitioner to issue an opioid naïve patient a second opioid prescription simultaneous to the issuance of an initial prescription, with written instructions on the prescription stating that the earliest date on which a prescription may be filled is five (5) days from issuance and the latest date is ten (10) days from issuance
  • Dispensers must check the CSMD for any opioid prescription with a “dispense on or after” date
  • Limits the dosage of an opioid prescribed to an opioid naïve patient or acute care patient to not more than 40 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per day
  • Exceptions: malignant pain, cancer treatment, hospice care, administration in a licensed health care facility, prescriptions from pain management specialists, methadone treatment facilities, treatment for opioid use disorder, and treatment with opioid antagonists

Professional Privilege Tax Repeal

Action Needed: Contact your state legislators today and ask them to SUPPORT this important initiative!

This legislation is currently being considered by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Legislation: Multiple Bills Filed 
Summary: For several years, TPA has participated as a member of a coalition of affected professionals and has actively advocated for a repeal of the Professional Privilege Tax. In 2016, the coalition’s efforts produced a Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) study, which outlined the tax and also provided more detail about the tax relative to other states. The coalition worked with legislators to introduce legislation that would phase out the tax over a 5-year period (similar to the recent Hall Tax repeal strategy). TPA continues to work with the coalition to support and advocate for its passage in 2018.

Establishing MTM as a Pharmacist-Provided Benefit

Action Needed: Contact your state Representative today and ask them to SUPPORT this important pharmacy initiative!

The Senate version of this legislation passed 29-0 earlier this week. This legislation is scheduled in the House Health Committee next week. 

Legislation: Senate Bill 1774 / House Bill 1874
Senate Sponsor(s): Crowe
House Sponsor(s): Kumar
Summary: This legislation specifies that a medication therapy management program involves pharmacist-provided services.

Required Notifications Prior to Vaccine Administration

Action Needed: Contact your state legislators today and ask them to OPPOSE this unnecessary and burdensome anti-vaccination legislation!

This legislation is currently being considered by the House Health Subcommittee and the Senate Health and Welfare Committee

Legislation: Senate Bill 2482 / House Bill 2488
Senate Sponsor(s): Niceley
House Sponsor(s): Holt, 
Faison, Goins, Hawk, Calfee, Hicks, Moody, Casada, Ragan, Weaver

Summary: This legislation would place additional requirements for immunizing pharmacists to provide patients with a list of vaccine ingredients, potential side effects on the vaccine manufacturer’s insert, and information about the purpose and availability of the federal vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS), prior to administration of every vaccine.

National-Level Pharmacy Legislative Priorities

Action Needed: Please contact your US Representative and US Senators TODAY and ask them to SUPPORT these important pharmacy initiatives!

TPA greatly appreciates your continued pharmacy advocacy and thanks you for your action in response to these specific legislative initiatives! For a more complete list of 2018 TPA Pharmacy-Related Legislative Priorities, CLICK HERE.  Even better, come to Nashville to participate in the TPA Legislative and Regulatory Policy Forum, Legislative Reception, and Pharmacy Day on the Hill, THIS MONDAY AND TUESDAY (Feb. 26-27, 2018) at the TPA Winter Meeting. You can register on Monday when you arrive!