ASSEMBLY, No. 2537

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 23, 2006

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Establishes New Jersey Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry in DHSS; requires pharmacies to compile drug retail price lists.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.


An Act establishing the "New Jersey Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry" and supplementing Titles 26 and 45 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

1. a. There is established the "New Jersey Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry" in the Department of Health and Senior Services for the purpose of making retail price information for the 150 most frequently prescribed prescription drugs in the State readily available to consumers.

(1) The registry shall include information from drug retail price lists reported to the commissioner by pharmacies pursuant to section 2 of P.L. , c. (C. )(pending before the Legislature as this bill), and shall be updated by the department at least weekly to reflect the most current information reported to the commissioner by pharmacies.

(2) The registry shall be organized by the commissioner in a format that is conducive to review and comparison by consumers of prescription drug retail prices charged by pharmacies in each zip code within the State, both for selected drugs that are included in the registry and for the entire list of such drugs, and shall include the name and address of each pharmacy.

b. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall make available electronically on its Internet website in English and Spanish the information contained in the registry, and shall make copies of the information available to consumers upon request by means of a toll-free telephone service operated by the department.

The information made available on the Internet website shall:

(1) be organized to meet the requirements of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section and be designed so that the consumer may download and print the displayed information;

(2) include Internet web links to other governmental information resources that provide information relating to the regulation of prescription drugs and State and federal health care coverage and pharmaceutical assistance programs; and

(3) contain clearly understandable language that is designed to assist consumers in understanding the content of, and how to access, the information made available on the website pursuant to this section.

c. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) and in consultation with the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, shall adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this section.

 

2. a. The New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy shall prepare at least annually, and shall make available in both printed and electronic form to each pharmacy practice site in the State without charge, a list of the 150 most frequently prescribed prescription drugs that includes the usual dosages prescribed for each drug.

b. Each pharmacy practice site in the State shall compile a drug retail price list, which contains the names of the drugs on the list provided by the board pursuant to subsection a. of this section and the retail price for each drug on the list charged at that pharmacy practice site, and shall make the drug retail price list available to customers upon request.

(1) The drug retail price list shall include a notice that states as follows: "Consult your pharmacist for the selection of the most economical drug product available to fill your prescription."

(2) The pharmacy practice site shall post a sign that notifies customers of the availability of the drug retail price list in a conspicuous location that is: at or adjacent to the place where prescriptions are presented for compounding and dispensing; in the waiting area for customers; or in the area where prescribed drugs are delivered.

(3) The pharmacy practice site shall report to the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, on a form and in a manner and according to a schedule established by the commissioner, the information included in its drug retail price list. The pharmacy practice site shall update the information that it reports to the commissioner at least weekly.

c. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent a pharmacy practice site from changing or charging the current retail price at any time, provided that the listed price is updated at least weekly to reflect the new retail price.

d. As used in this section, "retail price" means the actual price to be paid by a retail purchaser to a pharmacy for a drug on the retail price list at the listed dosage.

e. The New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) and in consultation with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, shall adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this section.

 

3. This act shall take effect on the 180th day after enactment, but the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

This bill establishes the "New Jersey Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry" in the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) for the purpose of making retail price information for the 150 most frequently prescribed prescription drugs readily available to New Jersey consumers.

The bill provides as follows:

   The registry is to include information from drug retail price lists reported to the commissioner by pharmacies pursuant to the bill, and is to be:

-- updated by DHSS at least weekly to reflect the most current information reported to the commissioner by pharmacies and:

-- organized by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services in a format that is conducive to review and comparison by consumers of retail prescription drug prices charged by pharmacies in each zip code within the State, both for selected drugs that are included in the registry and for the entire list of such drugs, and shall include the name and address of each pharmacy.

   The commissioner is to: make available electronically on the DHSS Internet website, in English and Spanish, the information contained in the registry, and make copies of the information available to consumers upon request by means of a toll-free telephone service operated by DHSS.

   The information made available on the Internet website is to:

-- be organized to meet the requirements of the bill regarding the organization and contents of the registry and be designed so that the consumer may download and print the displayed information;

-- include Internet web links to other governmental information resources that provide information relating to the regulation of prescription drugs and State and federal health care coverage and pharmaceutical assistance programs; and

-- contain clearly understandable language that is designed to assist consumers in understanding the content of, and how to access, the information made available on the website pursuant to this section.

   The State Board of Pharmacy is to prepare at least annually, and to make available in both printed and electronic form to each pharmacy practice site in the State without charge, a list of the 150 most frequently prescribed prescription drugs that includes the usual dosages prescribed for each drug.

   Each pharmacy practice site in the State is to compile a drug retail price list, which contains the names of the drugs on the list provided by the State Board of Pharmacy and the retail price for each drug on the list charged at that pharmacy practice site, and to make the drug retail price list available to customers upon request.

   The drug retail price list is to include a notice that states as follows: "Consult your pharmacist for the selection of the most economical drug product available to fill your prescription."

   The pharmacy practice site is to post a sign that notifies customers of the availability of the drug retail price list in a conspicuous location that is: at or adjacent to the place where prescriptions are presented for compounding and dispensing; in the waiting area for customers; or in the area where prescribed drugs are delivered.

   The pharmacy practice site is to report to the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, on a form and in a manner and according to a schedule established by the commissioner, the information included in its drug retail price list. The pharmacy practice site is to update the information that it reports to the commissioner at least weekly.

   The provisions of the bill are not to be construed to prevent a pharmacy practice site from changing or charging the current retail price at any time, provided that the listed price is updated at least weekly to reflect the new retail price.

   As used in the bill, "retail price" means the actual price to be paid by a retail purchaser to a pharmacy for a drug on the retail price list at the listed dosage.

   The bill takes effect on the 180th day after enactment, but authorizes the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and the State Board of Pharmacy to take anticipatory administrative action in advance as necessary for its implementation.