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S.231

Introduced by Senator Bloomer of Rutland County

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject: Human services; prescription drugs; counter-detailing

Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to direct the commissioner of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access to implement a prescription drug counter-detailing program.

AN ACT RELATING TO PRESCRIPTION DRUG COUNTER‑DETAILING

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 33 V.S.A. 1997 is added to read:

1997. PRESCRIPTION DRUG COUNTER-DETAILING

(a) The commissioner of prevention, assistance, transition, and health access shall implement, beginning on July 1, 2002, the pharmacy best practices and cost control program established by Sec. 123(n) and (o) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2001 so as to include a prescription drug counter-detailing program. The counter-detailing program shall be designed to:

(1) Counteract direct‑to‑consumer advertising and pharmaceutical company marketing to physicians and other prescribers which results in higher prescription drug costs for public and private health benefit plans, and for consumers;

(2) Educate physicians and other prescribers concerning the availability of lower cost generic and therapeutically-equivalent prescription drugs for particular medical diseases and conditions; and

(3) Provide to physicians and other prescribers a report card on their prescribing practices, and whether they are taking advantage of lower cost generic and therapeutically-equivalent alternatives to high-priced brand‑name drugs.

(b) The commissioner shall report to the health access oversight committee and to the joint fiscal committee on or before June 1, 2003 with an evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of the counter-detailing program. If the commissioner determines that sufficient cost savings have not been achieved through the voluntary program described in subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner may terminate or modify provider contracts, limit reimbursements, or impose other consequences relating to providers who fail to use cost-effective prescribing practices established by the commissioner for the pharmacy best practices and cost control program.