NCMS Legislative Update

May 17, 2021

Last week at the NC General Assembly nearly 100 bills quickly moved through committees and 45 were voted on in either the House or Senate in advance of Thursday’s crossover deadline. While all proposals technically are ‘alive’ until the session officially ends, crossover marks the completion of the first stage of the General Assembly’s work for this long session with the winnowing out those bills with the support necessary to pass through at least one chamber. With crossover behind them, legislators in the House and Senate now will shift their focus to the state budget process, and hope to have a spending plan in place for the start of the state’s new fiscal year on July 1.

While you can see the many bills we are monitoring on our legislative blog here, several among those that remain active after the crossover deadline deserve special mention.

HB96 – Allow Pharmacists to Administer Injectable Drugs which would have allowed pharmacists unrestricted authority to administer any type of injectable. Working with our medical specialty society partners, the NCMS was able to narrow the scope of the language in the proposal to allow only injections pursuant to a prescription, only in individuals over age 18 and mandates reporting back to the prescriber. These changes make the proposal better and safer for patients. We will continue to monitor this legislation so watch your NCMS Morning Rounds newsletter and NCMS Political Pulse video in the coming days for updates.

The other bill of note, SB575 – Pharmacists Improve Public Health Needs, made it through the Senate chamber, but only after the NCMS and our partner medical specialty societies were able to narrow the list of drugs pharmacists would be allowed to prescribe to four – contraceptives, smoking cessation, PEP and pre-natal vitamins. The NCMS and our medical specialty society partners are continuing to work with bill sponsors on the language in this proposal. Watch this newsletter for updates.

As legislators turn their attention to the state budget, now is a great time to reach out to your legislator to discuss not only pending legislation like the bills mentioned above, but also policy priorities to include in the state’s spending plan. If you don’t already have a relationship with your representatives, here is where you can look up how to contact them to begin the conversation about what is important to you as a physician or PA constituent.