2004 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services; Appropriations
By: Representative Reynolds, Baker (74th), Blackmon, Brown, Calhoun, Coleman (29th), Cummings, Dedeaux, Eaton, Franks, Gibbs, Green, Holloway, Jennings, Markham, Mayhall, McBride, Miles, Moak, Montgomery, Moss, Pierce, Robinson (63rd), Rogers (61st), Smith (59th), Vince, Ward, Watson, Weathersby, Whittington, Peranich, Scott, Straughter, Evans, Patterson, Hamilton (6th)
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE MISSISSIPPI SENIORS AND INDIGENTS RX PROGRAM IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAM IS TO HELP SENIOR CITIZENS AND QUALIFIED INDIGENTS ACCESS PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURERS’ DISCOUNT CARDS AND PHARMACEUTICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS AND TO PROVIDE SENIORS AND QUALIFIED INDIGENTS WITH APPLICATIONS FOR THOSE PROGRAMS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL COORDINATE THE OPERATION OF THE PROGRAM WITH OTHER STATE AGENCIES TO MAXIMIZE THE SERVICES AVAILABLE AND MINIMIZE THE PAPERWORK AND INCONVENIENCE TO THE SENIORS AND QUALIFIED INDIGENTS; TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO DEVELOP, MAINTAIN AND MAKE AVAILABLE AN INTERNET-BASED APPLICATION FORM TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND TO THOSE OTHER STATE AGENCIES SO THAT SENIORS AND QUALIFIED INDIGENTS MAY GET APPLICATIONS FOR PHARMACEUTICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS AT THE LOCAL OFFICES OF ANY OF THOSE STATE AGENCIES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PREPARE AND SUBMIT AN ANNUAL REPORT ON THE PROGRAM TO CERTAIN STATE OFFICIALS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE BOARD OF PHARMACY MAY ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES PRESCRIPTION MONITORING PROGRAM, WHICH MAY BE AN ELECTRONIC SYSTEM FOR MONITORING THE DISPENSING OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES IN THE STATE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Sections 1 through 6 of this act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Seniors and Indigents Rx Program."
SECTION 2. As used in Sections 1 through 6 of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Department" means the State Department of Health.
(b) "Program" means the Mississippi Seniors and Indigents Rx Program established in Sections 1 through 6 of this act.
SECTION 3. (1) The Legislature finds that many low income seniors and other indigents are unaware of bona fide assistance programs that are voluntarily offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers to the elderly and underprivileged. It is the intent of the Legislature to take steps necessary to make it more widely known that such assistance is available and to make it easier for people to apply for that assistance.
(2) The Mississippi Seniors and Indigents Rx Program is established in the State Department of Health to help seniors and qualified indigents in accessing pharmaceutical manufacturers’ discount cards and pharmaceutical assistance programs and to provide seniors and qualified indigents with applications for those programs. The department shall coordinate the operation of the program with the Division of Medicaid, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Human Services and the State Department of Rehabilitation Services to insure that the services available under the program are maximized and that paperwork and inconvenience to the seniors and qualified indigents are minimized. The department may develop, maintain and make available an Internet-based application form to the general public and to each of those state agencies so that seniors and qualified indigents may get applications for pharmaceutical assistance programs at the local offices of any of those state agencies. The department may coordinate with pharmaceutical manufacturers to obtain program applications at no cost to the state.
SECTION 4. Subject to appropriation for the program, the department may provide assistance to persons determined to be eligible for services authorized by Sections 1 through 6 of this act. The assistance provided by the department may include:
(a) Assisting seniors and qualified indigents in accessing manufacturers' pharmaceutical assistance program applications; and
(b) Assisting seniors and qualified indigents in applying for manufacturers' pharmaceutical assistance programs.
SECTION 5. The department may seek and receive voluntary monies from any sources, including federal funds and gifts, which shall be expended for the purposes specified in Sections 1 through 6 of this act. The department also may accept voluntary funding in the form of grants available to build community, public sector and private sector partnerships. The department shall include within the development of the program the assistance of foundations, independent and chain community pharmacists, volunteers, state agencies, community groups, religious groups, area agencies on aging, corporations, hospitals, physicians, and any other entity that can further the intent of the program.
SECTION 6. The department shall prepare and submit an annual report on the program to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chairman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and the Chairman of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee. Those reports shall include the number of clients served, the number of prescriptions filled and refilled, and the value of the drugs provided.
SECTION 7. (1) The State Board of Pharmacy may establish and maintain a controlled substances prescription monitoring program, which may be an electronic system for monitoring the dispensing of controlled substances in the state.
(2) The board may contract with a vendor to establish and maintain the electronic monitoring system under guidelines promulgated by the board.
(3) The board may promulgate such rules and regulations as necessary to implement the program.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.