On Friday, January 4, 2013, MA Governor Patrick introduced a comprehensive set of statutory changes to the structure and responsibilities of the MA Board of Pharmacy. Detailed in the attached document and pending assignment to the appropriate legislative committees, the new laws if enacted:
- Restructures the composition of the Board of Pharmacy (“Board”). The 11 member Board will consist of the following:
- 4 pharmacists (pharmacists must include a combination of the following specialties – hospital pharmacy, long term care pharmacy, independent pharmacy, chain pharmacy and compounding pharmacy)
- One nurse
- One physician
- One pharmacy technician
- One expert in patient safety and quality improvement
- 3 public members (experience in health care delivery, administration or consumer advocacy);
- Creates specific licensure category for compounding pharmacies;
- Requires licensure of pharmacies that are out-of-state which dispense/deliver drugs to patients in Massachusetts;
- Establishes extensive whistleblower protections for pharmacy staff, including pharmacists;
- Requires the Board to participate in any National Data Reporting Systems pertaining to pharmacies, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians;
- Clarifies and enhances the Boards enforcement powers against a pharmacist and a pharmacy (i.e., fines, suspensions, cease and desist orders, quarantine notices, etc.).
On December 4, 2012, the MA Board of Pharmacy held a public hearing on emergency regulations which enables the Board to immediately close a pharmacy and/or seize medications that endanger the public health. IACP testified that the proposed 21 day hearing period for a closed pharmacy is too short because of the potential impact on patient care. The Board has not yet announced any changes to the emergency regulations.