ASSEMBLY, No. 3195

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

209th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 5, 2001

 

 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman NEIL M. COHEN

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    "Prescription Drug Cost Containment Act."

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 


An Act concerning the distribution of premiums or rebates by pharmacists in connection with the sale of certain drugs, supplementing chapter 14 of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, and amending R.S.45:14-12.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1. (New section) This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Prescription Drug Cost Containment Act."

 

    2. (New section) A registered pharmacist may distribute premiums or rebates in connection with the sale of drugs and medications.

 

    3. R.S.45:14-12 is amended to read as follows:

    45:14-12. The board may refuse an application for examination or may suspend or revoke the certificate of a registered pharmacist or a registered assistant pharmacist for any of the following causes: When the application or registration is shown to have been obtained by misrepresentation or fraudulent means or when the applicant or registrant is guilty of chronic or persistent inebriety, or has been adjudged guilty of violating any state or federal law or any law of the District of Columbia or of any territory of the United States relating to the practice of pharmacy, or relating to the dispensing of drugs, or has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, or has impersonated an applicant for registration before the board or has been convicted of knowingly, intentionally or fraudulently adulterating or causing to be adulterated drugs, chemicals or medicinal preparations or has sold or caused to be sold adulterated drugs, chemicals or medicinal preparations knowing, or having reason to know, that same were adulterated, or has procured or attempted to procure registration for another by misrepresentation or fraudulent means, and the board shall refuse an application for examination or suspend or revoke the certificate of a registered pharmacist or a registered assistant pharmacist when the applicant or registrant is shown to be addicted to the use of narcotic drugs, or has been convicted of violating any law of this or any other state or of the United States relating to narcotic drugs or has been adjudicated an incompetent, or is shown to have any

abnormal physical or mental condition which threatens the safety of persons to whom said applicant or registrant might sell or dispense prescriptions, drugs, chemicals, medicinal preparations or devices or for whom he might manufacture, prepare or package, or supervise the manufacturing, preparation or packaging of prescriptions, drugs, chemicals, medicinal preparations or devices. In addition, the board may refuse an application for examination or may suspend or revoke the certificate of a registered pharmacist or a registered assistant pharmacist upon proof satisfactory to the board that such registered pharmacist or such registered assistant pharmacist is guilty of grossly unprofessional conduct and the following acts are hereby declared to constitute grossly unprofessional conduct for the purpose of this act:

    a. Paying rebates or entering into an agreement for payment of rebates to any physician, dentist or other person for the recommending of the services of any person.

    b. The providing or causing to be provided to a physician, dentist, veterinarian or other persons authorized to prescribe, prescription blanks or forms bearing the pharmacist's or pharmacy's name, address or other means of identification.

    c. (Deleted by amendment.)

    d. The claiming of professional superiority in the compounding or filling of prescriptions or in any manner implying professional superiority which may reduce public confidence in the ability, character or integrity of other pharmacists.

    e. Fostering the interest of one group of patients at the expense of another which compromises the quality or extent of professional services or facilities made available.

    f. [The distribution of premiums or rebates of any kind whatever in connection with the sale of drugs and medications provided, however, that trading stamps and similar devices shall not be considered to be rebates for the purposes of this chapter and provided further that discounts, premiums and rebates may be provided in connection with the sale of drugs and medications to any person who is 62 years of age or older. Before a certificate shall be refused, suspended or revoked, the accused person shall be furnished with a copy of the complaint and given a hearing before the board. Any person whose certificate is so suspended or revoked shall be deemed an unregistered person during the period of such suspension or revocation, and as such shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in this chapter, but such person may, at the discretion of the board, have his certificate reinstated at any time without an examination, upon application to the board. Any person to whom a certificate shall be denied by the board or whose certificate shall be suspended or revoked by the board shall have the right to review such action by appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in lieu of prerogative writ.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L. , c. )(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

    g. Advertising of prescription drug prices in a manner inconsistent with rules and regulations promulgated by the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs; provided, however, no such advertising of any drug or substance shall be authorized unless the Commissioner of Health shall have determined that such advertising is not harmful to public health, safety and welfare.

    Before a certificate shall be refused, suspended or revoked, the accused person shall be furnished with a copy of the complaint and given a hearing before the board. Any person whose certificate is so suspended or revoked shall be deemed an unregistered person during the period of that suspension or revocation, and as that shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in this chapter, but that person may, at the discretion of the board, have his certificate reinstated at any time without an examination, upon application to the board. Any person to whom a certificate shall be denied by the board or whose certificate shall be suspended or revoked by the board shall have the right to review such action by appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

(cf: P.L.1977, c.240, s.2)

 

    4. This act shall take effect immediately

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill supplements chapter 14 of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes and amends R.S.45:14-12 to permit pharmacists to distribute premiums or rebates in connection with the sale of drugs and medications.

    Distributing premiums or rebates in connection with the sale of drugs and medications is currently prohibited and, under R.S.45:14-12 in its present form, constitutes one of the "grossly unprofessional" acts for which a pharmacist may have his certificate of registration suspended or revoked. The only statutory exception to this prohibition is that pharmacists may give drug and medication discounts, premiums, and rebates to senior citizens.

    To eliminate the prohibition against premiums or rebates, subsection f. of R.S.45:14-12 was deleted. Subsection f. also contained the exception for senior citizens and language which accorded certain rights of due process for pharmacists who either were accused of violating the law or had their certificates of registration suspended or revoked.

    Since the purpose of the bill is to remove the prohibition against the giving of premiums or rebates, there was no need to reenact the exception for senior citizens.

    The language which provides the rights of due process for pharmacists, on the other hand, has been reinserted as a separate paragraph.