By: Nathan Hanson, PharmD, MS, BCPS
Have you ever wondered what the public policy committee does? As our previous article explained, you can learn about pharmacy by comparing it to sports, and in both settings, rules matter. (That has been taken to an extreme lately, because laws and rules have kept elite athletes on the sidelines!) The Public Policy Committee keeps an eye on 3 basic levels of pharmacy rules: Legislative, regulatory, and association. It has been a crazy couple months in healthcare rules, so we have put together just a few updates in all 3 spheres. Remember, MSHP matters. Collaboration is a priority. Things are changing. Stay engaged!
Legislative: Elected officials and votes
The Missouri legislative session wrapped up, after being significantly disrupted by COVID. Many of the legislative priorities were put on the backburner (think 2021), and a statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was again voted down. However, a helpful proposal was passed that will make it safer for our patients to receive specialized compounded medications. When it has been signed by the governor MSHP will provide more information about how to implement this change. This is a patient safety improvement, and it was a wonderful example of MSHP working together with the Missouri Pharmacy Association and the Missouri Hospital Association to make a positive impact. We truly appreciate their leadership on this issue!
Regulatory: Government employees, inspectors, and boards
The Missouri Board of Pharmacy did an amazing job of responding to the public health emergency. They held multiple meetings and worked tirelessly over the past 3 months to ensure that they had done everything they could do to remove regulatory barriers that might get in the way of providing safe care to patients during the COVID emergency. Thankfully, many of the worst case scenarios did not materialize, but Missouri made a strong effort to be ready. The 2008 USP 797 standards will continue to be in effect, as the revisions go through the committee again. The FDA has finalized a document outlining clear regulatory cooperation with the state boards for interstate compounding. Each state board will review the document to determine if it meets the needs of their state.
Associations: Groups of thought leaders, providing best practices and direction for the profession
The 2020 ASHP House of Delegates has approved a slate of professional policies (link). These are designed to clearly explain the wishes and priorities of the 55,000 ASHP members. They are developed and approved with input from elected members from each state, including member of MSHP. MSHP Board of Directors approved guidance for safe implementation of a technician product verification program within the hospital setting. This guidance document was put to the membership for a vote and was passed. Stay tuned for more information.