Advocacy and Legislation

Disease management. Medication dispensing. Reimbursement.

These are just a few aspects of the pharmacy profession that are being debated, written into legislation, and voted on in the New Jersey legislature. Thanks to your support, NJPhA maintains an active political presence in our state capitol to monitor the discussions and represent the voice of pharmacists in New Jersey.

But the converse also holds true. Without your moral, vocal, and financial support, advocacy isn’t possible, so please make a contribution to the NJPhA Political Action Committee (PAC).

Here’s a sample of what NJPhA has done for New Jersey pharmacists and their patients.

NJPhA legislative achievements

  • Permitting properly qualified pharmacists to administer flu vaccine to pediatric patients1
  • Permitting qualified pharmacists to immunize patients 18 years and older for all types of immunizations2
  • Providing for collaborative practice between physicians and pharmacists
  • Modernization of the practice of pharmacy to reflect the current training and education of pharmacists under the Pharmacy Practice Act
  • Two laws providing for choice in selecting a pharmacy. Mandatory mail order is not permitted for New Jersey State regulated plans
  • Enabling pharmacists to be reimbursed as diabetes educators
  • Providing for pharmacy coupons to be used by senior citizens 62 years or older
  • Providing for the prompt payment of prescription claims for New Jersey state-regulated health insurance plans
  • Providing for limitations on the recoupment or recapture of payments for pharmacy claims for New Jersey state-regulated health insurance plans no more than 18 months from date of service
  • Requiring all New Jersey insurance cards to indicate whether coverage is self-insured or insured
  • Providing pharmacies with a mutually agreeable time for pharmacy audits by insurers
  • Providing for uniformity in prescription benefits cards
  • Establishing the Pharmaceutical Assistance to Aged and Disabled Program (PAAD) and Senior Gold (SG) Program

1 Patients aged 12-17 years by physician standing order, prescription or government programs and to patients 7-11 years of age by prescription

2 Pursuant to physician standing orders, prescriptions, or government sponsored programs

Upcoming pharmacy legislation

Here follows pharmacy legislation currently being debated in the Trenton legislature that NJPhA is monitoring closely. Click View Summary for a synopsis of the legislation. For complete information, click the bill number.

Bill A-622: Prohibits sale of Products containing Dextromethorphan to Persons under 18 Years of age

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No person, either directly or indirectly by an agent or an employee, shall sell or offer to sell to a person under 18 years of age any product containing dextromethorphan.

The establishment of all of the following shall constitute a defense to any prosecution brought pursuant of subsection a. A person, who violates the provisions of this bill, including an employee of a retail establishment who actually sells a product containing dextromethorphan to a person under 18 years of age, will be fined not more than $750. If the retail establishment is part of a chain with two or more locations in the State, the violation is to be assessed against the particular retail establishment and not the chain.


Bill 689: Prohibits sale of products containing dextromethorphan to minors under 18 years of age

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This bill would prohibit the sale of, or offer to sell, any product containing dextromethorphan to a person under 18 years of age. The purpose of the bill is to address the problem of abuse by teenagers of various over-the-counter cold remedies, which, when taken in sufficient doses, can produce hallucinogenic effects and have been reported to cause permanent brain damage, coma, and in some cases, death.


Bill A-711: Proof of ID for dispensation of certain prescription medications

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This bill would require patients and their designated caregivers to provide a current and valid photo identification card when picking up prescriptions for narcotic medications, which include opium and opiates, opium and opiate derivatives, and certain stimulants.

A designated caregiver would not be authorized to pick up a prescription for a narcotic drug on behalf of a patient unless the caregiver is at least 18 years of age, the patient identifies the caregiver at the time the prescription is issued, the practitioner issuing the prescription transmits the caregiver’s name along with the prescription, and the caregiver’s name appears on the prescription. In the case of a patient who is a minor, the patient’s parent, resource family parent, or legal guardian would be identified as the designated caregiver except that, in the practitioner’s discretion, another relative who is at least 18 years of age could be identified as the patient’s designated caregiver.


Bill A-2477: Biosimilars – Permits pharmacists to substitute a biosimilar biological product under certain circumstances

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The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Pub.L.111-148, amended the federal Public Health Service Act to create an abbreviated licensure pathway for biological products demonstrated to be biosimilar to, or interchangeable with, biological products licensed by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This bill allows for the substitution of these products by pharmacists, provided the conditions set forth in the bill are met.

Specifically, the bill directs the Commissioner of Health to maintain, and make available to each pharmacy practice site in the State without charge, a list of biosimilar biological products approved by the FDA to be interchangeable with a prescribed biological reference product. A pharmacist may substitute such a product for a prescribed biological product if the prescriber has not indicated that there be no substitution by initialing the prescription blank next to “do not substitute. A pharmacist who dispenses an interchangeable biosimilar product is to notify the patient in writing that the dispensed biological product has been approved by the FDA as an interchangeable biosimilar biological product, and notify the prescribing practitioner of the substitution within five business days after dispensing. The pharmacist is to record, on the prescription label and dispensing record, the product name of the interchangeable biosimilar biological product, followed by the words: “Substituted for” and the name of the biological reference product for which the prescription was written, as well as the manufacturer of the interchangeable biosimilar biological product. Records of substitutions are to be maintained for at least five years after the dispensing date.

The bill provides immunity from liability for a pharmacist who makes such substitutions in compliance with the bill to the same extent that immunity would be provided for dispensing the prescribed biological reference product. The bill incorporates the definitions used in relevant federal law for the terms “biological product,” “biosimilar,” “biological reference product,” and “interchangeable.” Generally, “biological products” are made from various sources, including human, animal or microorganism, and are intended to treat medical conditions, or prevent or diagnose diseases. “Biosimilar” means that data show that a product is “highly similar” to an already-approved biological product. “Reference product” refers to the single biological product against which a biological product is evaluated in an application to be licensed as biosimilar or interchangeable. The bill also amends the definitions of “drug” in R.S.24:1-1 and “drug product” in section 5 of P.L.1977, c.240 (C.24:6E-4) to clarify that those terms do not include “biological product.” The bill takes effect on the first day of the second month next following the date of enactment.