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Legislative Updates - SB693/SCR17


(4/24/2023)SCR17 requires the auditor to conduct an assessment on the social and financial impacts. Report will be presented to the legislature prior to the 2024 regular session. HPhA has been in direct communication with the Office of the Auditor that will be conducting the audit. HPhA will be a resource for both the insurance commissioner and state insurance organizations to ensure the audit provides meaningful and accurate information. The audit will be submitted at least 20 days prior to the 2024 legislative session and the bill will be introduced next year.


(4/12/2023)SCR17 has been given a double referral in the House and is scheduled for a hearing Thursday, April13th at 2:00 PM.


(3/30/2023)The House Committee on Finance recommend SB693 be passed, unamended. To stay informed on the latest developments, please click here.


(3/28/2023)SCR17 - REQUESTING THE AUDITOR TO CONDUCT A SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT OF PROPOSED MANDATORY HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR SERVICES PROVIDED BY PHARMACISTS. Report was adopted with amendments and referred to WAM. To stay informed on the latest developments, please click here.


(3/21/2023)The Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce recommended SB693 be passed with amendments.


(3/15/2023)The Health and Homelessness (HLT) committee recommended for SB693 be passed with amendments.


(2/22/2023) SB693 passed unanimously without any reservations or oppositions with ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO PAGES of support! SB693 will move forward as a single bill representative of HB1221/SB165. SB693 will now be referred to a joint hearing between Consumer Protection (CPN) Committee and Ways and Means (WAM) Committee. 


Healthcare committees likely to be scheduled for the week of January 30th. To submit testimony for SB 165: Payment for Pharmacist Services, an account needs to be created at the Hawai'i State Legislature website. You will NOT be able to submit a testimony until hearings are scheduled. The turnaround time between the hearing notices being released and the hearings themselves is a minimum of 72 hours in the Senate and 48 hours in the House. 

Testimonies must be submitted 24 hours prior to hearings so the legislators have time to review. In summary, the path of least resistance is to create a testimony ASAP so that you are ready to submit once the hearing is scheduled. An email reminder will be sent once a hearing is scheduled for either bill so that you may promptly submit a testimony.  It’s time for pharmacists in Hawaii to work together to be financially compensated for the services we are trained to provide (and already provide!) as medication experts. Let's working together to advance pharmacy practice across the state. 
Information sheet about the initiative including resources to stay involved during the 2023 Legislative Session. 

(1/23/2023) - SB 165: Payment for Pharmacist Services was introduced in the Senate on Friday, January 20th by Senator San Buenaventura, the Chair of Health and Human Services. HPhA expects a companion bill to be introduced this week from the House but seeking to engage Hawaii pharmacists in preparation for the bill(s) moving through committees. Bills are publicly available to view from the state legislature homepage where you can also track the measures in the coming months.


Visit the COVID-19 Bulletin Boardfor COVID-19 specific legislative updates.

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Supreme Court Issues a Stay to Allow for Continued Access to Mifepristone

The Supreme Court of the United States issued a stay on April 14, 2023 in Food and Drug Administration et. al., Applicants vs. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, This ruling protects the access to a widely used abortion drug, mifepristone. This decision came as a result of an emergency request by the Department of Justice to block a lower court ruling, limiting access to this medication, even in states where abortion remains legal.


Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Pharmacists, Patients

Decision in Rutledge v. PCMA Validates State Efforts to Rein in PBMs

The Supreme Court of the United States issued on December 10, 2020 its landmark decision in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA)ruling in favor of an Arkansas law to prevent abusive PBM payment practices. 

The unanimous (8 to 0) decision ruled in favor of the interests of patients and community pharmacies, who have been fighting for years to regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), the controversial middlemen that manage prescription drug benefits for health insurers, Medicare Part D drug plans, and large employers. With this ruling, states will have greater authority to protect their local businesses and their patients from PBM overreach.

The Arkansas law upheld by the Supreme court prohibits PBMs from reimbursing local pharmacies at a lower rate than what the pharmacies pay to fill prescriptions. PBMs often profit by reimbursing pharmacies at less than a pharmacy’s cost to acquire a drug. This is just one of the many ways the PBM system puts pharmacies and patients at a disadvantage.