SECTION 1. Chapter 111 of the Massachusetts General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out section 4N and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 4N. (a) The department shall develop, implement and promote an evidence-based outreach and education program about the therapeutic and cost-effective utilization of prescription drugs for physicians, pharmacists and other health care professionals authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs. In developing the program, the department shall consult with physicians, pharmacists, private insurers, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, and the MassHealth drug utilization review board.
(b) The program shall arrange for physicians, pharmacists and nurses under contract with the department to conduct face-to-face visits with prescribers, utilizing evidence-based materials and borrowing methods from behavioral science, educational theory and, where appropriate, pharmaceutical industry data and outreach techniques; provided, however, that to the extent possible, the program shall inform prescribers about therapeutically-equivalent pharmaceutical alternatives or other evidence-based treatment options.
The program shall include outreach to: physicians and other health care practitioners who participate in MassHealth, the subsidized catastrophic prescription drug insurance program authorized in section 39 of chapter 19A or the commonwealth care health insurance program; other publicly-funded, contracted or subsidized health care programs; academic medical centers; and other prescribers.
The department shall, to the extent possible, utilize or incorporate into its program other independent educational resources or models proven effective in promoting high quality, evidenced-based, cost-effective information regarding the effectiveness and safety of prescription drugs, including, but not limited to: (i) the Pennsylvania PACE/Harvard University Independent Drug Information Service; (ii) the Academic Detailing Program of the University of Vermont College of Medicine Area Health Education Centers; (iii) the Oregon Health and Science University Evidence-based Practice Center's Drug Effectiveness Review project; and (iv) the South Carolina evidence-based peer-to-peer education program outreach program and (v) research on academic detailing to improve prescribing by faculty at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
(c) The department shall work with MassHealth to obtain access to aggregated prescription data by provider on an ongoing basis for the use of the evidence-based outreach and education program. The department, in conjunction with the executive office of health and human services, shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means, no later than 6 months after the passage of this act, on data sharing obstacles that may be interfering with effective outreach.
(d) The department may establish and collect fees for subscriptions and contracts with private payers. The department may seek funding from nongovernmental health access foundations and undesignated drug litigation settlement funds associated with pharmaceutical marketing and pricing practices, as well as other sources to ensure the ongoing support for this service.
(e) The department shall establish a fee to be assessed on each pharmaceutical and medical device company that registers with the department annually pursuant to section 6 of chapter 111N. The fee shall be used to fund the academic detailing program pursuant to this section. The department shall set the fee at a level to meet the needs of the program to be determined on an annual basis. The department shall establish regulations for the payment of these fees.
(f) Funds shall be set aside for the purposes of program evaluation to assess the effectiveness and cost-savings associated with this program.
SECTION 2. The department of public health shall promulgate regulations implementing this act no later than 6 months after its passage.
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