OLR Bill Analysis

sSB-445

AN ACT CONCERNING FAIRNESS IN PHARMACY AND PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGER CONTRACTS.

SUMMARY

Starting January 1, 2018, this bill prohibits a contract entered into between a (1) pharmacist and (2) health carrier (e.g., insurer or HMO), pharmacy benefits manager, or any other entity from containing a provision prohibiting the pharmacist from disclosing any relevant information to an individual purchasing prescription medication. Such relevant information includes the prescription's cost; the reimbursement to the pharmacist for the prescription sale; the prescription's efficacy; and any alternative, less expensive medications.

Also starting January 1, 2018, the bill prohibits requiring a person in Connecticut to pay for the services of a pharmacy or pharmacist in an amount greater than what they receive for the services from all payment sources (e.g., public and private health insurers). A contract that violates the bill is unenforceable and constitutes an unfair trade practice (see BACKGROUND).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

sHB 7124, reported favorably by the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, prohibits health carriers from penalizing or providing financial disincentives to any pharmacy or pharmacist for disclosing to an insured person information on (1) the cost or efficacy of a prescription drug or (2) a therapeutically equivalent drug.

Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA)

The law prohibits businesses from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts or practices. CUTPA allows the consumer protection commissioner to issue regulations defining what constitutes an unfair trade practice, investigate complaints, issue cease and desist orders, order restitution in cases involving less than $10,000, enter into consent agreements, ask the attorney general to seek injunctive relief, and accept voluntary statements of compliance. It also allows individuals to sue. Courts may issue restraining orders; award actual and punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorney's fees; and impose civil penalties of up to $5,000 for willful violations and $25,000 for violation of a restraining order.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

26

Nay

0

(03/27/2017)