HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 94879 FILED ON: 7/14/2010
HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 4879
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
By Mr. Murphy of Burlington, for the committee on Ways and M eans, on House, No. 4478 , a Bill relative to the enhancement of the prescription monitoring program (House, No. 4 879 ). July 14 , 2010 .
FOR THE COMMITTEE:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the Year Two Thousand and Ten
An Act relative to the enhancement of the prescription monitoring program.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Said chapter 94C, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 24 the following section:-
Section 24A. (a) The department shall establis h and maintain an electronic system to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of all schedule II to V, inclusive, controlled substances and certain additional drugs by all professionals licensed to prescribe or dispense such substances. For the purposes o f this section, “additional drugs” shall mean substances determined by the department that demonstrate a bona fide potential of abuse.
The department shall enter into reciprocal agreements with other states to share prescription drug monitoring informatio n if the other state's prescription drug monitoring program is comparable with the program as set forth in this section.
(b) The requirements of this section shall not apply to the dispensing of controlled substances to inpatients in a hospital.
(c) Each pharmacy that delivers a schedule II to V, inclusive, controlled substance to the ultimate user shall submit to the department, by electronic means, information regarding each prescription dispensed for a drug included pursuant to subsection (a) as requir ed by rules and regulations promulgated by the department. Each pharmacy shall submit the information in accordance with transmission methods and frequency promulgated by the department, but at least once every 7 days. The department may issue a waiver to a pharmacy that is unable to submit prescription information by electronic means. Such waiver shall permit the pharmacy to submit prescription information by other means promulgated by the department: provided, however, that all information required in t his section is submitted in this alternative format.
(d) Prescription information submitted to the department pursuant to this section shall be confidential and exempt from disclosure under chapter 66 and clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4 and not subject to public or open records laws. The department shall maintain procedures to ensure that the privacy and confidentiality of patients and patient information collected, recorded, transmitted and maintained is not disclosed to persons except as pr ovided for in this chapter.
(e) The department shall review the prescription and dispensing monitoring information. If there is reasonable cause to believe a violation of law or breach of professional standards may have occurred, the department shall not ify the appropriate law enforcement or professional licensing, certification or regulatory agency or entity, and provide prescription information required for an investigation.
(f) The department shall, upon request, provide data from the prescription mon itoring program to the following:-
(1) persons authorized to prescribe or dispense controlled substances, for the purpose of providing medical or pharmaceutical care for their patients;
(2) individuals who request their own prescription monitoring inform ation in accordance with procedures established under chapter 66A;
(3) persons authorized to act on behalf of state boards and regulatory agencies that supervise or regulate a profession that is authorized to prescribe controlled substances; provided, tha t the data request is in connection with a bona fide specific controlled substance or additional drug related investigation;
(4) local, state and federal law enforcement or prosecutorial officials working with the executive office of public safety engaged in the administration, investigation or enforcement of the laws governing prescription drugs; provided, however, that the data request is in connection with a bona fide specific controlled substance or additional drug related investigation;
(5) personnel of the executive office of health and human services regarding Medicaid program recipients; provided, however that the data request is in connection with a bona fide specific controlled substance or additional drug related investigation; or
(6) personnel of the United States attorney, office of the attorney general or the district attorneys; provided, however, that the data request is in connection with a bona fide specific controlled substance or additional drug related investigation.
(g) The department may provide de-identified, aggregate information to public or private entities for statistical, research or educational purposes.
(h) The department may contract with another agency of this state or with a private vendor, as necessary, to ensure the effe ctive operation of the prescription monitoring program. A contractor shall be bound to comply with the provisions regarding confidentiality of prescription information in this section.
(i) The department shall promulgate rules and regulations setting for th the procedures and methods for implementing this section.
(j) The department shall submit an annual report on the effectiveness of the prescription monitoring program with the clerks of the house and senate, the chairs of the joint committee on public health, the chairs of the joint committee on health care financing and the chairs of the joint committee on public safety and homeland security.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 94C, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following section :-
Section 49. The department of public health shall enforce section 24A. To carry out this purpose, the department shall:-
(a) inspect, copy and audit records, inventories of controlled substances and reports required under said section 24A and rules and re gulations adopted under said section;
(b) enter the premises of regulated distributors and dispensers during normal business hours to conduct administrative inspections;
(c) assist law enforcement agencies in enforcing this chapter;
(d) conduct investig ations to enforce this chapter; and
(e) present evidence obtained from investigations conducted in conjunction with the office of the attorney general and the appropriate district attorneys for civil or criminal prosecution or for administrative action aga inst regulated distributors, dispensers and licensees.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any general or specific law to the contrary, the department of public health shall promulgate rules and regulations relative to the prescription monitoring program establish ed by section 24A of chapter 94C not later than October 1, 2012.
SECTION 4. The department of public health shall submit a report on the status of this act with the clerks of the house and senate, the chairs of the joint committee on public health, the ch airs of the joint committee on health care financing and the chairs of the joint committee on public safety and homeland security within 90 days of the passage of this act.
SECTION 5. Section 1 shall take effect on January 1, 2011.