General Laws

Section 4C. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

''Eligible person'', a resident of the commonwealth at the time of application.

''Office'', the executive office of elder affairs.

''Participating manufacturer'', a pharmaceutical manufacturer which offers prescription medications or nonprescription medications at a reduced cost or free of charge to indigent persons pursuant to a voluntary drug assistance program.

''Prescription medications'', prescription drugs that have been approved as safe and effective by the federal Food and Drug Administration or are otherwise legally marketed in the United States and that are manufactured and offered by pharmaceutical companies.

(b) There is hereby established the pharmacy outreach program for the purposes of assisting residents of the commonwealth in obtaining free or low cost prescription medications or nonprescription medications from pharmaceutical manufacturers and educating such persons about health care issues related to medications. The office shall administer the program in conjunction with an outside vendor who shall be selected by the office pursuant to procurement regulations promulgated under the authority of the executive office of administration and finance.

(c) The pharmacy outreach program shall assist eligible persons in procuring free or low cost prescription medications or nonprescription medications by:

(1) evaluating the likelihood of success of an eligible person's obtaining free or low cost prescription medications or nonprescription medications from a participating manufacturer under the guidelines formulated;

(2) assisting an eligible person with the preparation of an application for prescription medications or nonprescription medications to participating manufacturers; and

(3) coordinating and assisting a physician registered pursuant to section 2 of chapter 112 with communications, including applications, made on behalf of an eligible person to a participating manufacturer for the purpose of obtaining approval of the eligible person in any voluntary drug assistance program.

(d) The pharmacy outreach program shall also establish a medication education and intervention resource center which shall:

(1) create and maintain a statewide toll free telephone number staffed by individuals who are qualified to counsel and advise eligible persons and anyone participating in the prescription drug subsidized insurance program pursuant to sections 39 and 40, on questions that they may have about prescription drugs or nonprescription drugs;

(2) sponsor and organize presentations, workshops and screenings in conjunction with other organizations that serve the interests of the elderly and other eligible persons on issues of mental and physical health;

(3) offer and provide information on prescription medications and nonprescription medications including, but not limited to, information on drug interactions and abuse; and

(4) offer in-person counseling to eligible persons for the purpose of explaining proper medication use and discouraging medication misuse.

(e) The office shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement the pharmacy outreach program.