House Bill 10 — Pharmacy Practice Act

Phil Haunschild 2019 House bill ratings, 2019 Idaho Freedom Index ratings

Bill description: HB 10 would establish an interstate pharmaceutical practice compact and take steps to ease restrictions on the practice of pharmacy in Idaho.

Rating: +4

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

HB 10 would give employees of public health districts across the state increased ability to provide prepackaged pharmaceuticals to their patients (page 5, lines 3-7). Under current law, only nurses are allowed to provide prepackaged pharmaceuticals, and they are limited to a very short list of medications (prenatal vitamins, contraceptives, antivirals and tuberculosis medications).

HB 10 would allow any employee of a public health district to provide pharmaceuticals as long as the prescription is listed on a formulary established by the district’s health director.

(+1)

Under current law, Idaho has strict stipulations for how prescriptions can be transmitted from physicians’ offices, pharmacies and other facilities. These restrictions were put in place to protect the integrity of the prescription and the privacy of the patients.

HB 10 would reduce the restrictions and regulations for transmitting electronic prescriptions (page 14 line 28 – page 15, line 26 ). With the continual development of technology and electronic communications, easing such restrictions would allow for further ease in transmitting prescriptions

(+1)

Under current law, when pharmacists issue an anti-epileptic drug for a patient, the pharmacy is required to report back to the prescriber what drug it dispensed. While a prescriber might issue a certain drug, some drugs can be substituted for one another. This additional reporting is a unique requirement for epilepsy drugs. Idaho is one of only nine states with this requirement.

HB 10 would eliminate this requirement in 2021 (page 16, lines 17-18). As a result, pharmacists and their agents would not face this extra obligation.

(+1)

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?

The most substantial change in HB 10 is the creation of an interstate pharmaceutical practice agreement (page 5, line 37- Page 7, Line 24). This compact would make it far easier for out-of-state pharmacists, interns, and assistants to receive a license to practice in Idaho.

Under the interstate agreement, if another state has substantially similar licensing requirements and provides reciprocity to licensed pharmacists in Idaho, then pharmacists from the other state would be allowed to practice pharmacy in Idaho. They would not have to obtain a separate license from the Board of Pharmacy. This interstate agreement would operate much like the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, which 31 states (including Idaho) are a part of. A nurse who has a license from one of these 31 states is legally allowed to practice in the other 30.

Idaho would be the first state to establish such a compact for the practice of pharmacy. As the number of states in the compact increases, Idahoans will have access to more pharmacists. This effect would be strong in small communities near Idaho’s borders. If a pharmacist from a neighboring state can practice pharmacy into Idaho without having to go through the Board of Pharmacy just to obtain a license nearly identical to the license they already hold in the other state, they will become much more inclined to provide their services to Idahoans.

(+1)