A new Indiana law, HB 1568, will expand access to contraception by allowing pharmacists to start prescribing birth control pills and patches later this year. Women would not need to see a doctor before obtaining the prescription, which is currently allowed in about half of all states in the U.S., according to the Indiana Pharmacy Association. The law will require pharmacists to examine patients and review their medical history before providing a prescription, and pharmacists are limited to prescribing supplies of up to six months of birth control at a time. State leaders first have to issue a standing order before pharmacists can start prescribing contraception, which is to be finalized later in the year.
Indiana becomes the latest state (of many) to settle with Centene for overcharges to the state Medicaid program, reaching a whopping $66.5 million settlement agreement. Just last December, it was announced that both Oregon and Iowa entered into settlement agreements with Centene for overcharges to its state Medicaid program, reaching a $17 million settlement agreement and a $44 million settlement agreement respectively (Oregon settlement news and Iowa settlement news). This came on the heels of the company's settlement with Texas ($165.6 million), Massachusetts ($14 million), and Washington state ($33.3 million).
In January, Indiana Rep. Curtis Nisly introduced HB 1372 to the Indiana General Assembly. If passed, HB 1372 would not only authorize providers to prescribe — and pharmacists to dispense — ivermectin in cases of COVID-19, but it would also prohibit providers from discouraging it as a treatment option. The bill states that, after filling a prescription, pharmacists must provide patients with an information sheet about ivermectin. However, “Nothing on the information sheet may discourage the recipient from using ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.” As of January 2022, ivermectin had not received FDA approval or emergency use authorization. With this in mind, many Indiana pharmacists agree that HB 1372 sets a "dangerous precedent" for other states to follow.
Kansas City Star
The enactment of HB 1468 was lauded by the NACDS for empowering pharmacists to optimize patient-centered care models and advance access to necessary care. Major provisions of the bill include further leveraging the skills of pharmacy technicians to improve overall pharmacy efficiency, expanding access to critical immunizations, improving patient access to essential medications by allowing pharmacists to offer therapeutic alternatives, and removing requirements for shared record-keeping systems in collaborative practice agreements (for pharmacists who may not have access to these systems).
Drug Store News