Maryland - Last week, the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission released a new opinion upholding a patient's right to use a pharmacy of their choice. The issue, raised by insurers in the state, argued that Maryland statutes allowed employers and insurers to determine where a patient receives their treatment but the WCC disagreed, arguing the Commission has the authority to direct whether, when, where, and how insurers provide treatments to a covered employee.
Pennsylvania - The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled in favor of a former NFL linebacker in his workers' compensation claim. The court found that the player, Anthony Trucks, was entitled $807 per week in temporary total disability benefits from a 2008 shoulder injury. The NFL had argued he was entitled to less benefits because he was a seasonal employee, but the court disagreed, stating that he was paid regularly throughout the year and required to attend other events, including training camp and media appearances, during his off-season making him a full-time worker.
Vermont - Vermont is looking to join other states, like Arizona and New Hampshire, in requiring specific labels for opioid prescriptions. Under a proposed bill, H. 613, pharmacies would be required to place a warning label describing the risks associated with opioid medications on all containers used for dispensing an opioid medication. The bill would require the Board of Pharmacy to develop the language and size requirements of the label for an effective date of January 1, 2021.
Neew Hampshire - Last week, a new bill was introduced in the New Hampshire Senate that would require pharmacies to get verbal acknowledgment for an initial prescription for opioids. SB 522, now before the Health and Human Services Committee, requires providers to notify their patients of the risk of addiction and overdose associated with opioids and receive a verbal acknowledgment of their understanding prior to dispensing.
Florida - Last Monday, HB 1103 was filed in the Florida House. The bill would mandate the use of electronic prescribing for all prescriptions in the state beginning July 1, 2021. The bill additionally makes clear that the mandate, or the software used to comply with the mandate, shall not interfere with a patient's freedom to choose a pharmacy. The bill will be assigned to a committee when the legislature convenes for session today.
Industry News - Several major pharmacy chains, including CVS and Walgreens, filed a lawsuit against hundreds of unidentified doctors across northeast Ohio ahead of a their federal opioid trial later this year. The lawsuit alleges that physicians are the real culprits in the opioid drug epidemic and that they should be required to pay some of the penalty imposed on the drugstores if they are found liable during the federal trial.
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