Highlights of July Meeting - 2011

by Scott A. Meyers, Executive Vice President
August 15, 2011

Highlights of the July Meeting - 2011 The July Illinois Board of Pharmacy Meeting was held on Tuesday, July 12th in the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.  The following are the highlights of that meeting.

Match Rx
John Kello, CEO of Match Rx, a Michigan based Internet company that connects community pharmacies across the country to buy and sell overstocked pharmaceuticals, presented to the Board.  Match Rx has facilitated over 20,000 trades and operates in 33 states.  In Illinois, pharmacies are not allowed to sell product to other pharmacies under the Wholesale Distributors Act.  They may sell to practitioners (defined as physicians, dentists, podiatrists and veterinarians) as long as sales to these individuals and practices do not exceed 5% of the pharmacy’s annual gross sales.  Pharmacies in Illinois may make purchases from other pharmacies as long as the selling pharmacy is a licensed wholesale distributor.  The Board discussed the possibility of a rules change that would add pharmacies to the exemption of sales to practitioners, and there was a general feeling that as long as no more than 5% of gross sales including sales to all practitioners and pharmacies combined, the change would be reasonable and would not create a significant opportunity for counterfeiters and other illegal or unethical practices.  The Department staff will begin working on a rules draft; however, final action is not anticipated for approximately 4 to 6 months.

NABP Annual Meeting Report and District IV Schedule for Fall
Several Board Members attended the NABP Annual Meeting in San Antonio in May and reported on a number of issues.  Drug diversion has become a very big issue in pharmacy including some high profile pharmacy robberies.  Pressure is coming from Washington, DC (DEA and Congress) to do something about this problem.  A resolution was submitted and approved to streamline the Model Practice Act with regard to the implementation of technology in pharmacy.  Another project NABP is working on is a national PMP (prescription monitoring program) that would replace or enhance the state by state development of current PMPs.  The next meeting of NABP District IV (of which the Illinois Board is a member) will take place on Nov. 9-11 in Findlay, Ohio.  This meeting is held in conjunction with AACP’s Colleges of Pharmacy in the same states.

Rules Update
The Department staff is working on a revision of the Pharmacy Practice Act Rules this summer.  Submissions have been received from the Illinois State Medical Society (Standing Order Rules for Community Pharmacy), ICHP (Tech-Check-Tech, Multi-Med Paks) and will be included in their own review of the current rules.  The Department staff has identified several areas where clarification is necessary.  All pharmacy organizations will have a chance to review and comment on proposed changes.

Legislative Update
Bills that were passed by the General Assembly were discussed and have been reviewed in the July issue of KeePosted.  The bill that received significant attention was HB0220 which is the focus of this issue’s “GAS From Springfield”.

Prosecutions Report
Scott Golden, prosecuting attorney for pharmacy, provided his regular update.  There were 129 cases in various stages of prosecution at the time of the meeting.  As with previous months, the leading cause for investigation of pharmacy technicians was drug diversion.  Pharmacist cases seem to also be increasing in that area, too.  Dispensing errors still account for a significant number of cases involving pharmacists as do sister-state disciplines.  There was discussion concerning the growing number of proprietary pharmacy technician training programs and a concern that they do not do background checks prior to enrollment.  This has led to some graduates of these programs being unable to become registered as technicians when the State discovers a past criminal record in an area such as drug use, sexual offenses or other felony convictions that could impact an individual’s ability to practice as a pharmacy technician safely.

Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Illinois Board of Pharmacy will take place on Tuesday, September 13th at 10:30 AM at the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Building, 320 W. Washington St, in Springfield.  This is the only meeting held in Springfield annually.  The meeting is open to the public and interested pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy students should take the opportunity to attend.   Â?"    

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