Rhode Island pharmacists may be eligible to offer new services soon. The State Senate Committee on Health and Human Services is currently reviewing two bills, S 2329 and S2330, to do so. SB 2329 would allow pharmacists to prescribe and administer tobacco cessation medications, and SB 2330 would allow pharmacists to administer all FDA-approved hormonal contraceptives. Both pieces of legislation would also include mandatory coverage from state Medicaid programs and commercial insurers. In effect, SB 2329 and SB 2330 would open up treatment options for patients and ensure that pharmacists could provide those treatments effectively.
Over a dozen states have passed legislation allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control. Rhode Island may be the next. A new bill, HB 7346, would grant pharmacists the authority to prescribe hormonal contraceptives without a doctor’s order, provided that they complete proper training. The bill aims to open up access for women across the state and grant pharmacists greater authority. HB 7346 passed the Rhode Island House of Representatives and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
SB 497 has been enacted into law by Governor McKee. This law prohibits PBMs from enacting gag clauses that prevent pharmacists from discussing prescription drug alternatives with their patients. It now allows pharmacists to discuss reimbursement criteria and cost-share or lower cost alternatives with individuals trying to fill prescriptions.
SB 170 has successfully been signed into law, a bill that seeks to cap the cost of insulin for patients with diabetes. This legislation requires health insurance companies that cover prescription insulin drugs to limit their copayment for a 30-day supply of medically-neccessary insulin to $40.