Ohio pharmacists celebrate another victory

Ohio is on a roll! A few weeks ago, Gov. John Kasich signed into law HB 116, which is aimed at expanding patient access to pharmacist-provided medication synchronization services. The signing of HB 116 follows on the heels of Gov. Kasich signing into law a measure to create a medical marijuana program in the state, and HB 188, which allows pharmacists to perform more patient care services.

The passing of HB 116 was a 2-year labor of love championed by the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA). Sponsored by Reps. Tim Brown (R–Bowling Green) and Tim Ginter (R-Salem), the legislation will allows patients with prescriptions for chronic diseases or conditions to participate in a med sync program, where all of a patient’s medications are filled on the same day. In addition, HB 116 requires commercial plans and Medicare to offer coverage of med sync services, partial drug refills with prorated copays, and full dispensing fees for pharmacies, which would allow pharmacists to receive the customary dispensing fee for filling a partial prescription. The law becomes effective on January 1, 2017.

APhA, along with other pharmacy organizations, collaborated with OPA to support this legislation. This is a huge victory for pharmacists in Ohio and another successful step in our journey toward achieving provider status for pharmacists. Kudos to the Ohio Pharmacists Association! I can’t wait to see what’s next!