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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 19, 2017 04:19 PM
From: Representative Eric R. Nelson
To: All House members
Subject: Medication Synchronization
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to allow for medication synchronization in Pennsylvania.

Medication synchronization allows patients to synchronize their medications in order to receive them on the same day each month, instead of having to make multiple visits to the pharmacy. This common sense legislation would not only serve as a convenience for the patient, especially the elderly that rely on public transportation, it also seeks to reduce poor healthcare outcomes that result from decreased medication adherence, which is why Medicaid Part D already allows for medication synchronization.

A study by Harvard Medical School found that when medications were not synchronized, patients had adherence rates that were 8.4% lower than patients for which medications were synchronized. Similarly, in a study at George Washington University, medical researchers identified medication synchronization as an important component of improving adherence, noting: “[t]he Medicaid population would benefit from a policy that allowed for flexibility in medication supplies to improve refill consolidation [synchronization]. This would allow a physician or pharmacist to consider appropriate adjustments and improve adherence in this population.”

This bill includes protection for the patient by barring their insurance plan from denying coverage for the scripts filled by medication synchronization on the basis that it is a partial fill of the script, and provides for prorated cost sharing.

Medication synchronization is done by allowing pharmacists to dispense partial quantities, or short fills, of the patient’s medication(s), in order to coordinate the prescription fill or refill date with that of the patient’s other medication(s). Additionally, the legislation would ensure the pharmacy receives a full dispensing fee from the transaction. This is important to note because the pharmacy’s overhead cost of dispensing a partial script is the same as dispensing the full quantity of the script.

35 other states have either enacted or introduced legislation to allow for this important service to patients with multiple prescriptions. These states include Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Kentucky, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Tennessee, to name a few.

This bill is supported by the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Chain Drug Stores. Please join me in supporting this important legislation allowing Pennsylvania to provide this essential service to some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens.

Introduced as HB1800