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California

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Pharmacy Laws & Regulations

California

Pharmacy Laws & Regulations

(All States)

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Anne Sodergren | Executive Officer
2720 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95833

Meet the Hosts

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nEWS UPDATE

Walgreens Held Responsible for CA Opioid Crisis

On August 10, a federal judge ruled that Walgreens can be held responsible for contributing to San Francisco’s opioid crisis. The decision comes after Walgreens dispensed highly addictive drugs for years without proper oversight and failed to identify and report suspicious orders, as required by California state law. The San Francisco city attorney says that San Francisco saw a nearly 500 percent increase in opioid-related overdose deaths between 2015 and 2020, for which Walgreens is held liable. The August 10 ruling did not include a ruling on monetary damages, which will be determined in a future trial. Walgreens also faces litigation in Alabama, Michigan, and New Mexico.

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PBS

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600 CA Chain Pharmacists Authorize Strike

More than 600 pharmacists at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, and Pavilions stores in Southern California could walk out following an “overwhelming” membership vote to authorize union leadership to call for a strike. The pharmacists in question claim the chains have engaged in “unlawful and unfair treatment,” including retaliating against pharmacists who engage in union activity, attempting to bribe pharmacists with bonuses instead of negotiating wage increases, and hiring temporary workers to undermine union activity. No dates have been set for a strike and negotiations with the chains continue.

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NBC Los Angeles

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California Begins Biosimilar Insulin Initiative

On July 7, 2022, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the most recent state budget, signed last week, includes a $100 million allotment for California to “contract to make [its] own insulin at a cheaper price, close to at cost.”  The budget designates $50 million to develop biosimilar insulin products and the remaining $50 million to build an insulin manufacturing facility in California. The decision is part of California’s initiative to create its own prescription drugs, which began in 2019. Manufactured prescription drugs, including insulin, will be sent out to retail pharmacies around the state.

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JD Supra

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CA Gov. Newsom Forgives $142M in Clawbacks

Also included in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July 7 budget was a provision that forgives $142 million in Medi-Cal clawbacks from independent pharmacies in the state. The clawbacks came from California’s retroactive adoption of NADAC in its Medicaid program and would have had devastating impacts on pharmacies across the state. With clawbacks now forgiven, California pharmacists can continue to serve patients without the additional financial burden.

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California Legislative Information

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CA Bill Aims to Safeguard Controlled Substances

A new California bill could tighten regulations on controlled substances and help prevent substance abuse. AB 2265 was introduced by California Assembly Member Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) on February 16, 2022. AB 2265 would require pharmacists to dispense Schedule II or Schedule IIN controlled substances in a lockable vial, as well as provide a specified opioid factsheet to patients upon dispensing. In addition, it would require the manufacturer of the controlled substance to reimburse the pharmacy for the cost of the lockable vial within 30 days. AB 2265 is expected to be heard in committee on March 19, 2022.

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California Legislature

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3 New Pharmacy Bills Signed Into Law by Gov. Newsom

This article summarizes three recently passed laws related to the practice of pharmacy in the state of California. SB 362 prohibits performance "quotas" implemented by community pharmacies, AB 1064 authorizes pharmacists to independently administer any approved vaccine to those ages 3 and older, and SB 409 gives authorization to pharmacists to perform certain approved CLIA-waived point-of-care tests. Click the link to learn more about this new legislation.

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JD Supra

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Gov. Newsom Signs Bill Expanding Pharmacists' Authority

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1533 into law. This bill has been supported and advocated for by the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) in order to implement new changes to pharmacy law, including an expansion of authority for pharmacists. This new law allows pharmacists to provide any medication-assisted treatment as long as it is authorized by federal law, requires representation by a compounding pharmacist on the state Board of Pharmacy professional team, and also addresses violations of pharmacy law committed by chain pharmacies.

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Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

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3 Months Until Electronic Prescribing Mandate Begins

California Assembly Bill 2789 was passed into law in 2018 with a 3-year delay in implementation. Now, the California Medical Association is reminding health care practitioners that beginning this January 1, 2022, almost all prescriptions being written in the state of California must be done so electronically. There are a few exceptions to this rule that are listed in the article linked below.

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California Medical Association

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NCPA Urges California Governor to Sign Anti-Steering Bill

As of Friday September 3rd, SB 524, an anti-steering bill, has passed California legislature and awaits Governor Newsom's signature. NCPA has written a letter to urge the Governor's approval for this bill that would protect patient access to local pharmacy services and give them the freedom and authority to make their own healthcare decisions. The bill would help prevent unfair PBM and insurer practices by prohibiting them from steering patients to their own PBM and insurer-owned pharmacies.

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National Community Pharmacists Association

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Expanding Medi-Cal Eligibility and Pharmacist Reimbursement for Covered Services

AB 133 has been signed by Governor Newsom, and this law now extends Medi-Cal eligibility to undocumented Californians age 50 and older. It also requires the Department of Health Care Services to implement a medication therapy management (MTM) benefit and reimbursement methodology for all covered pharmacist services that are related to the dispensing of all qualified specialty drugs.

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California Legislative Information

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California Law Limits Auto-Refill Programs

The California Board of Pharmacy recently passed new limitations on prescription refill programs at pharmacies across the state, which go into effect on July 1, 2022. These new limitations are designed to give pharmacists greater oversight in patient medication usage and minimize prescription drug abuse.

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JDSupra

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California Attorney General Joins Fight Against PBMs

Attorney General Rob Bonta joined a bipartians coalition of 34 attorneys general across the country to file an amicus brief supporting the regulation of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Attorney General Bonta's decision comes in an effort to help curb abuses by the multi-billion-dollar industry, which harm California patients.

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State of California Department of Justice

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California Adds Rules to "No Pharmacist Left Alone" Act

The state's "No Pharmacist Left Alone" law (SB 1442) ensures that pharmacists don't work alone in a pharmacy, after concerns were raised about understaffing at community pharmacies. New additions to the law mandate that another employee must work alongside the pharmacist to complete certain designated tasks.

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JDSupra

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