Tennessee Pharmacists Association
You Have a Voice: TPA

IMPORTANT VOTES COMING UP THIS WEEK – MARCH 21-25:
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY!

TPA continues to work on issues affecting pharmacy practice in the 2016 Tennessee General Assembly. Here are our top legislative priorities, and we urge pharmacists and pharmacy advocates to engage with their legislators on these important initiatives.


There are three issues related to pharmacy practice that TPA greatly needs your assistance with, by contacting your legislators:

  • Restoration of Proposed AWP-Based TennCare Cuts to the Pharmacy Program
  • Funding for Pharmacy Robbery Enhancement Factor Legislation
  • Funding for MTM in Medicaid Legislation

TPA has prepared an email template that includes all three of these messages in one email that can be directed to your legislators using your zip code. To send this email through T-PLAN, TPA’s automated email service, please CLICK HERE. Be sure to customize your email before sending it along to your Tennessee Representative and Tennessee Senator!


MEDICATION THERAPY MANAGEMENT IN MEDICAID – BEING CONSIDERED MARCH 22-23!

TPA has worked with bill sponsors to support HB 2398 by Littleton, Shepard, Sexton C and SB 1882 by McNally, Crowe, Overbey, Haile in 2016. This legislation requires TennCare, in collaboration with the various Managed Care Organizations administering the medical benefits on behalf of TennCare, to develop and incorporate a Medication Therapy Management program. As a reminder, in 2015, TPA worked with Chairman Randy McNally to support Senate Joint Resolution 104 (SJR104), a resolution which urges the Bureau of TennCare to incorporate Medication Therapy Management (MTM) to benefit patients, improve quality, and control costs. This was a very positive resolution, and TPA was heavily engaged in supporting this effort. According to information provided by the Bureau of TennCare in conjunction with this resolution, the underlying purpose of Medication Therapy Management is to improve quality and cost effectiveness, and the TennCare pharmacy team has been evaluating MTM as a potential cost savings measure which may be implemented with or without the resolution. According to the state’s Fiscal Note attached to SJR104 in 2015, if Medication Therapy Management were mandated, it could be implemented in a manner that is, at worst, revenue neutral.

  • Senate: Scheduled for Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee – 3/22/2016
  • House: Scheduled for House Health Committee – 3/23/2016
  • TPA Summary: MTM in Medicaid Legislation

STATE-WIDE COLLABORATIVE PHARMACY PRACTICE AGREEMENT FOR THE DISPENSING OF OPIOID ANTAGONISTS BY PHARMACISTS – PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR HASLAM ON MARCH 10, 2016!

TPA has worked with bill sponsors to support HB 2225 by Terry, Williams, Sexton C, Doss, Dunlap, Howell, Hazlewood and SB 2403 by Overbey, Haile in 2016. This legislation seeks to increase patient access to life-saving opioid antagonist therapy through a state-wide collaborative pharmacy practice agreement (CPPA) with the Chief Medical Officer for the Tennessee Department of Health. As enacted, pharmacists can enter into a CPPA to dispense opioid antagonists, effectively reducing barriers to this important medication, effectively reducing the number of opioid overdose deaths and saving the lives of many Tennesseans.

AUTHORIZATION OF PHARMACY SERVICES ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATIONS TO FILE MAC APPEALS ON BEHALF OF CONTRACTED PHARMACIES – PASSED AND AWAITING SIGNATURE BY GOVERNOR HASLAM!

HB 1697 by Shepard and SB 1789 by Overbey, McNally, is a joint effort between TPA, Southern Pharmacy Cooperative, and other pharmacy organizations to clarify language in the maximum allowable cost (MAC) legislation from 2014 and grant a pharmacy the right to designate a pharmacy services administrative organization (PSAO) or other agent to file and handle its appeal of the maximum allowable cost of a particular drug or medical product or device.

PHARMACIST-PROVIDED CONTRACEPTIVE THERAPY – BEING CONSIDERED MARCH 23!

HB 1823 by Hazlewood and SB 1677 by Dickerso, has been introduced in 2016. The overall goal of this legislative initiative is to increase patient access to contraceptive therapy through the use of pharmacists. TPA is currently working with bill sponsors on language which is in the best interest of our patients and our providers in Tennessee. This legislative effort is similar to efforts which have been enacted in Oregon and California.

PHARMACY ROBBERY LEGISLATION – BEING CONSIDERED WEEK OF MARCH 21!

Tennessee ranked 4th per capita in the United States in pharmacy robberies, and 5th in number of pharmacy robberies, in 2013. TPA worked with Senator Ferrell Haile and Representative David Shepard to support HB 0587 and SB 0593 which, if enacted, would allow courts to apply enhancing factors if an individual commits robbery, aggravated robbery, or especially aggravated robbery involving controlled substances on the premises of a licensed pharmacy. Because this legislation is expected to increase costs to the state of Tennessee for enhancing penalties and extending the length of incarceration for these criminals, this legislation received a substantial fiscal note. This legislation was passed by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and Criminal Justice Committee, as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee, but did not receive funding necessary to enact it during the 2015 legislative session. TPA will work with members of the Tennessee General Assembly to seek funding to support this legislation during the 2016 session.

  • Senate: Scheduled for Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee
  • House: Scheduled for House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee 
  • TPA Summary: Enhancing Factor for Pharmacy Robberies Position Statement
  • TPA has worked with legislators to file the appropriate budget amendments in the House and Senate.

RESTORATION OF PROPOSED AWP-BASED CUTS TO THE TENNCARE PHARMACY PROGRAM – BEING CONSIDERED WEEK OF MARCH 21!

TPA successfully worked with members of the Tennessee General Assembly, in collaboration with several other pharmacy-related organizations, to restore funding for the proposed AWP cuts to the TennCare pharmacy program for FY 2015 – 2016. These cuts would have reduced AWP-based reimbursements to pharmacies by over $17.4 million (total state and federal funding) for brand, generic, and specialty medications. If implemented, these AWP-based cuts would have affected all pharmacy providers that currently accept TennCare patients, so this is a win for our patients and the entire profession of pharmacy. The legislature did not allocate funding to restore the proposed cuts to buprenorphine and compounding for the TennCare program, and these cuts will go into effect on July 1, 2015. Funds to restore these proposed TennCare AWP cuts are not earmarked in the FY 2016 – 2017 Governor’s Budget, so TPA will continue to work with legislators over the 2016 session to restore these cuts going forward.

  • TPA has met with Governor Haslam about these cuts and has worked with legislators to file the appropriate budget amendments in the House and Senate.

AUTHORIZATION FOR MAINTENANCE DISPENSING BY PHARMACISTS – PASSED!

HB 1768 by Sexton C, Terry and SB 1786 by Overbey authorizes a pharmacist to dispense up to a 90-day supply of medication, including any refills, and up to the total number of dosage units as authorized by the prescriber on the original prescription including any refills, unless the prescriber has specified on the prescription that dispensing a prescription for a maintenance medication in an initial amount followed by periodic refills is medically necessary. This legislation does not apply to controlled substances.

  •  Result: Passed House and Senate – Awaiting signature by Governor Haslam

RENEWAL OF THE PRESCRIPTION SAFETY ACT – BEING CONSIDERED WEEK OF MARCH 21!

In 2016, the Tennessee General Assembly will seek to renew the Prescription Safety Act of 2012 through HB 2571 by McCormick, Brooks K, Hawk and SB 2552 by Norris, Yager. The Prescription Safety Act is scheduled to sunset on June 30, 2016, unless the Prescription Safety Act is renewed during this legislative session. TPA has been heavily engaged with the Department of Health on this legislative initiative and continues to advocate for the professional responsibility of providers in preventing prescription drug abuse while ensuring that the burden on pharmacists is minimal.

  • TPA continues to work with bill sponsors and the Tennessee Department of Health to ensure appropriate oversight of the database and minimal burdens on pharmacists through this legislation.

For a complete review of legislation currently being tracked by TPA, please CLICK HERE to access the updated 2016 TPA Legislative Review.

TPA continues to work to protect and advance the profession of pharmacy through advocacy and legislative initiatives, and we appreciate your support! Updates will be provided to TPA members as developments unfold. For questions, please contact the TPA office at 615-256-3023.