SENATE, No. 875

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

209th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 7, 2000

 

 

Sponsored by:

Senator ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Burlington, Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator JOHN H. ADLER

District 6 (Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Permits dispensing of homeopathic drugs and dietary supplements by physicians.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 2/8/2000)


An Act concerning the dispensing of homeopathic drugs and dietary supplements by physicians and amending P.L.1991, c.187.

 

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

 

    1. Section 46 of P.L.1991, c.187 (C.45:9-22.11) is amended to read as follows:

    46. A physician shall not dispense more than a seven-day supply of drugs or medicines to any patient. The drugs or medicines shall be dispensed at or below the cost the physician has paid for the particular drug or medicine, plus an administrative cost not to exceed 10% of the cost of the drug or medicine.

    The provisions of this section shall not apply to a physician:

    a. who dispenses drugs or medicines in a hospital emergency room, a student health center at an institution of higher education, or a publicly subsidized community health center, family planning clinic or prenatal clinic, if the drugs or medicines that are dispensed are directly related to the services provided at the facility;

    b. whose practice is situated 10 miles or more from a licensed pharmacy;

    c. when he dispenses allergenic extracts and injectables;

    d. when he dispenses drugs pursuant to an oncological or AIDS protocol; [or]

    e. when he dispenses salves, ointments or drops;

    f. when he dispenses homeopathic drugs, ointments or injectables; or

    g. when he dispenses dietary supplements as defined by federal law.

(cf: P.L.1991, c.187,s.46)

  

    2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    N.J.S.A.45:9-22.11 prohibits physicians from dispensing more than a seven-day supply of drugs or medicines to any patient; however, the law provides certain exceptions to this prohibition in the interest of patient safety and convenience and in those cases in which local pharmacies are not likely to stock or have available certain drug products. This bill adds homeopathic drugs, ointments or injectables and dietary supplements as defined by federal law to the list of exemptions from the dispensing prohibition.

    New Jersey is the only state to limit patients' access to dietary supplements for special therapeutic use. State Board of Medical Examiner regulations adopted to implement the law, N.J.A.C.13:35-7.1, define "drug" as "any article recognized in the official United States Pharmacopoeia, official Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States or official National Formulary, ... including, but not limited to, ... an over-the-counter preparation, a vitamin or food supplement, or any compounded combination of any of the above ... intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease or medical condition in humans or intended to affect the structure or function of the human body."

    When patients are unable to purchase supplements from their physicians, they must purchase them from another retail source. However, surveys on fulfillment in the retail setting (health food stores and pharmacies) show that in a majority of cases, supplements ordered by a physician are either not available, substituted with other, often inappropriate products or more expensive, on the average, than those purchased in physicians' offices in other states. Further, it is necessary to exempt homeopathic drugs because under federal law some potencies are available only by prescription and, therefore, cannot be sold in health food stores, but often are not available in pharmacies.