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2024 Legislative Session Recap

The 2024 Iowa Legislative Session adjourned this past weekend. IPA's priority to modernize the Iowa Pharmacy Practice Act passed! Read the full session summary.
The 2024 Iowa Legislative Session concluded in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 20th after an overnight push on Friday night to adjourn. In total, IPA registered on 47 bills impacting the pharmacy profession this session and monitored many more internally.

Prior to session, IPA's Legislative Committee proposed, and the Board of Trustees approved, three legislative priorities. An overview of IPA's legislative priorities can be found below. 
IPA Priorities 


Modernizing the Iowa Pharmacy Practice Act 
Passage of HF 555, IPA's proposal to modernize Iowa's Pharmacy Practice Act for the first time since 1986, highlighted the 2024 session. This bill implements a ‘standard of care' regulatory model and removes burdensome restrictions on pharmacy practice. This change aligns practice with pharmacists' full training and education for years to come. The bill adds pharmacists to the list of practitioners', and includes independent refill authority; and therapeutic substitution authority in accordance with the pharmacist's standard of care.

Iowa becomes the third state to implement a standard of care framework behind Idaho and Alaska. This legislation places Iowa at the top of the country for least restrictive states to practice in. The bill goes into effect July 1, 2024. IPA now shifts attention to creating educational resources for members and collaborating with the Board of Pharmacy to implement the bill. Read more here. 
 


Protecting Iowa Medicaid Pharmacy Reimbursement 
IPA secured funding for the cost of dispensing increase indicated in the 2022 Myers and Stauffer survey conducted by Iowa Medicaid. HF 2698 appropriates $500,000 to fund the pharmacy dispensing fee. This amount will be matched by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure Iowa pharmacies receive adequate payment. 


Reforming Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) 
Iowa Insurance Division PBM Legislation In response to over 72,000 PBM complaints, the Iowa Insurance Division's PBM transparency legislation (HF 2099 / SF 2357) passed unanimously and awaits the Governor's signature to become law. The bill provides protections from practices uncovered through the complaint process, such as preventing PBMs from retaliating against a pharmacy for reporting complaints to regulators.

IPA PBM LegislationIPA's PBM reform proposal to increase PBM transparency, ensure pharmacy viability, and decrease prescription drug costs for patients and employers, did not advance. Substantial opposition to HF 2401 from the big three PBMs, large insurers, and big business overcame support from within the chambers. IPA appreciates the tireless efforts of our legislative champions, including our bill sponsors Representative Shannon Lundgren and Senator Mike Klimesh, as well as House Speaker Pat Grassley, House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl, House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, Representatives John Forbes, David Young, and Brian Best, and Senators Dan Dawson, Jason Schultz, Dawn Driscoll, Cherielynn Westrich, and Chris Cournoyer.

This fight is not over. IPA will regroup to refine our strategy and educate opponents to the bill. Please keep in contact with IPA if you expect to close your pharmacy; please continue submitting PBM complaints to Iowa Insurance Division and CMS; and please maintain respectful communications with your elected officials. 


Other Notable Action  
A full accounting of bills IPA monitored can be found in our bill tracker. 


Boards and Commissions Bill Impacting the Board of Pharmacy Advances 
The Governor's priority to restructure Iowa's state agencies, including the Board of Pharmacy, advanced and awaits signature to become law. The bill requires the ‘big four' health boards (Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, and Dental) to share staff for inspections and investigations, removes the requirement that the health boards maintain oversight in evaluating candidates for Executive Director positions, and reduces the number of members on the Board of Pharmacy by one pharmacist and one public member. IPA submitted a public letter in response to the Boards and Commissions Committee's recommendations and proposed amendments urging historical strengths of the Board be retained 


Non-medical Switching Bill Passes 
An IPA-supported bill prohibiting health plans from limiting coverage of a prescription drug for a covered person who is medically stable, as determined by medical professionals, has been sent to the Governor to become law. 


Pharmacists Respond to ‘Calls to Action' 
IPA appreciates the time, effort, and quick response to the many action alerts issued to advance pharmacy's priorities this session. Whether it was sending an email to your elected officials, signing on in support of PBM reform, or showing up to the capitol for Pharmacy Day on the Hill and PBM Advocacy Day, YOUR VOICE MADE A DIFFERENCE. Pharmacy's greatest asset under the Gold Dome is its membership across the state, in each district. THANK YOU. 

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