State Legislature


Throughout the year the MPA actively tracks state and federal issues that impact the pharmacy profession.  The association is present at meetings of the Montana Board of Pharmacy, hearings when rules are being considered and implemented, and communicates with Montana's congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. and national pharmacy associations, such as APhA, ASHP, NCPA and NACDS.  

 


The 65th session of the Montana Legislature adjourned April 28, 2017.

Check out the MPA Bill Tracking List for the 2017 Legislative Session.  Please see the Legisilative WrapUp posted below the photos.

Governor Steve Bullock officially signs HB 276 into law on March 31, 2017. 
 MPA leaders and bill sponsor attend ceremony.

This new law provides transparency in how Montana pharmacies are reimbursed by PBMs, and provides pharmacists with the option to "opt out" if they are reimbursed less than acquisition cost.  

Congratulations and thanks to all who assisted in passing this bill in spite of strong opposition along the way.

Front row - left to right:  Senator Ed Greef, bill sponsor, and Governor Steve Bullock
Back row -- Sharon Greef, Stuart Doggett, MPA Executive Director; Tony King, MPA Legislative Committee Co-Chair; Paul Brand, MPA Chair.

Left to right:  Senator Ed Greef, bill sponsor; Sharon Greef; Paul Brand, MPA Chair

 

Legislative WrapUp
posted May 3, 2017

The 65th Legislative Session of the Montana Legislature adjourned Sine Die Friday, April 28th, on the 88th legislative day. The Legislature did not use 2 of 90 days constitutionally allowed for the legislative session. This leaves them with 2 days to use in case they may need to convene for a special session to adjust our state law for any potential changes at the federal level.

To date, 236 bills have become law by the Governor’s signature and 4 bills have become law that were not signed. Also, 506 bills died in the process and so far 13 bills have been vetoed. While many thought that there were less bills this session we find that there were actually 2 more bills introduced in 2017 than in 2015.

Legislative Results and Bill Highlights
With strong participation by our leadership and members across the state MPA experienced a great session in 2017. Members who provided e-mails and made calls to legislators to support or oppose targeted bills truly made the difference in helping us achieve success in the halls of the State Capitol. For this reason we again thank you for your assistance. Below are highlights of various bills worked on by the association and members of the Legislative Committee.

  • HB 177, A bill to revise administration of pharmacy immunization laws. This bill clarifies existing law to allow pharmacists to administer all forms of pneumococcal vaccine to those 18 years and older without a collaborative practice agreement. MPA supported this bill. This bill is now law because of the “immediate effective date clause” in the legislation.
  • HB 276, A bill requested by MPA to provide transparency in how Montana pharmacies are reimbursed by PBMs, and provide pharmacists with the option to “opt out” if they are reimbursed less than acquisition cost has passed both legislative chambers and has been signed by the Governor. This bill goes into effect on January 1, 2018. The delayed effective date was put into the bill so the change in law would not impose confusion on contracts that were signed previous to the bills introduction.   Click here for the full text of HB 276.
    Highlights of HB 276:
    --Provides clarity in how PBMs utilize “reference drug pricing list” and requires them to update their pricing list at least every 10 days.
    --Allows a pharmacist the ability to discuss insurance payments with customers.
    --Provides a pharmacist the ability to “opt out” of providing mandated services if the PBM is not going to reimburse them at the rate they paid to acquire the drug.
  • HB 333, Adopt the Help Save Lives from Overdose Act is a measure that increases naloxone access and provides protections. MPA supported this bill that has passed the legislature and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. It will go into effective immediately with his anticipated support in the coming days.
  • SB 31, A bill to require Medicaid reimbursements to pharmacists who provide drug therapy management. MPA strongly supported this measure and the concept of this legislation is moving forward by administrative rule rather than legislatively as agreed to by the bill sponsor, MPA and DPHHS. As result the bill was tabled and DPHHS has worked with Carla Cobb, MPA and others supporters to have a drug therapy reimbursement program in place by administrative rule on July 1, 2017.
  • SB 56, A bill to revise the sunset dates related to licensing fees that fund the prescription drug registry. This bill continued the licensing fee of $30 paid by pharmacists and other providers who use the drug registry until June 30, 2019 . MPA supported this bill that was passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor.
  • SB 68, A bill to revise wholesale drug distribution licensing by the Board of Pharmacy. This clarification bill brings Montana into compliance with federal law. MPA supported this bill that passed the legislature and has been signed into law by the Governor.
  • SB 348, A Penny for Pill Bill. As originally introduced this bill would have imposed a 1 cent tax on a patient for each dose of a Schedule II drug. Funds collected by the tax were to be used to maintain the Prescription Drug Registry. MPA opposed SB 348 and emphasized that funding for the Drug Registry was already being handled through a $15 additional licensing fees paid by pharmacists and other health care providers. In addition, MPA opposed SB 348 because it imposed a tax on medications that would have burdened consumers and asked pharmacists to be tax collectors. Fortunately this bill died in the process.