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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4N: Prescription drugs outreach and education program for physicians, pharmacists and other health care professionals

Section 4N. (a) The department shall, in cooperation with Commonwealth Medicine at the University of Massachusetts medical school, 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, the MassHealth drug utilization review board and the University of Massachusetts medical school.

(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 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 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; 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 North Carolina evidence-based peer-to-peer education program outreach program.

(c) 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.