Texas - Doctors and pharmacists will now have until March 2020 to comply with new requirements that mandate they consult the state PDMP prior to prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance. The original mandate would have gone into effect next month, but doctors' groups worried the integration of PDMP data and electronic health records would not be done in time, meaning doctors would lose time with patients because they were forced to jump between systems.
Califrnia - The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is recommending a 5.7% reduction in premiums for California's workers' comp in 2020. Among factors contributing to the reduction are significant savings in pharmaceutical costs, which fell 32% in 2018. Over the last six years, the average pharmaceutical cost paid per claim in California has fallen 80%. In 2018, the California DWC adopted a workers' comp drug formulary and accompanying medical treatment guidelines.
Kentucky - Last year, Kentucky passed a law that requires doctors who diagnose black lung to be a certified pulmonologist and radiologist. Prior to the new law, a radiologist could review x-rays and diagnose, but with the new requirements a report shows that only two doctors in the state have signed up to evaluate black lung cases. Labor opposed the legislation arguing it would make it more difficult for workers to receive necessary treatment, but the sponsor of the bill, Representative Adam Koenig, insists that the number of qualified providers under the new law is about the same as it was under the old law.
Article of Interest - On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report, CDC Vital Signs, which covers trends in pharmacy-based dispensing of naloxone. The new report found that while dispensing of naloxone has doubled since 2017, the numbers are still not high enough with only one naloxone prescription dispensed for every 69 high-dose opioid prescriptions dispensed. States across the country have passed legislation to expand access to naloxone, but few states mandate the prescribing of the drug.
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