SECTION 1. Section 15A. (a) The commission shall develop, implement and promote an evidence-based outreach and education program to support the therapeutic and cost-effective utilization of prescription drugs for physicians, podiatrists, pharmacists and other health care professionals authorized to prescribe and dispense prescription drugs. In developing the program, the commission shall consult with physicians, podiatrists, pharmacists, nurses, private insurers, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, the MassHealth drug utilization review board, the University of Massachusetts medical school and researchers and organizations that are engaged in the development, training and deployment of health practitioner education outreach programs.
(b) The program shall arrange for physicians, podiatrists, pharmacists and nurses 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 drug marketing that is intended to circumvent competition from generic or other therapeutically-equivalent pharmaceutical alternatives or other evidence-based treatment options.
The program shall be designed to provide outreach to: physicians, podiatrists and other health care practitioners who participate in MassHealth, the subsidized catastrophic prescription drug insurance program established in section 39 of chapter 19A, other publicly-funded, contracted or subsidized health care programs, academic medical centers and other prescribers. The commission 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 Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Independent Drug Information Service affiliated with Harvard University; (ii) the Academic Detailing Program through the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine’s Office of Primary Care and Area Health Education Centers Program; (iii) the Drug Effectiveness Review Project coordinated by the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health and Science University; and (iv) the North Carolina evidence-based peer-to-peer education program outreach program.
(c) The commission shall make an annual report, not later than April 1, on the operation of the program. The report shall be made publicly available on the commission’s website and include information on the outreach and education components of the program, revenues, expenditures and balances and savings attributable to the program in health care programs funded by the commonwealth.
(d) The commission shall undertake a public education initiative to inform residents of the commonwealth about clinical trials and drug safety information.
(e) The commission may establish and collect fees for subscriptions and contracts with private health care payers related to this section. The commission may seek funding from nongovernmental health access foundations and undesignated drug litigation settlement funds associated with pharmaceutical marketing and pricing practices.
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