Virginia Eyes Rx Switch Ban

Article excerpt

The Virginia General Assembly will consider legislation that would outlaw the switching of chemically dissimilar drugs for monetary incentives. "Put simply, how Virginia legislators vote on this bill may very well determine whether or not the pharmacy profession will exist in Virginia into the next millennium," said Wyatt B. Durrette Jr. and Kenneth D. McArthur, lawyers who represent some 200 Virginia pharmacists. In the January issue of Virginia Pharmacist, the state pharmacy journal, they argue in part: "If the pharmacist's professional, patient-bypatient, judgment as to the best drug therapy is made 'unnecessary' (in fact, undesirable) by substituting it with PBM and HMO corporate decision-making based upon drug manufacturer kickbacks, why keep pharmacists around?"

Making practice perfect

Pharmacy practice acts are up for major revision in at least six states this year. Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all are expected to consider overhauls. Pharmacist prescribing and other drug therapy management through collaborative agreements with physicians are a major topic, as are the roles of technicians and home care pharmacy regulations. Illinois had the sunset of its practice act extended from Jan. 1, 1998, to Jan. 1, 2008, so it didn't have to rush any changes through the legislature this year. Virginia wants to clarify its act with the end goal of payment for cognitive services. …