Indiana General Assembly In The Home Stretch

By Allison Taylor, JD

Today marks the 3rd reading deadline for legislation – meaning that bills must be voted out of their second chamber before the day’s end.  Bills that were amended along the process will likely go to “conference committee”, where details will be hammered out by the four caucuses.  All told, the legislature must adjourn “sine die” by March 14th.  There is rumor that the legislature might adjourn early – but this is only speculation.   

Here is an update on issues that the IAFP is tracking:

  • HB 1218: Drug treatment and reporting: Initially this bill required all legend drugs be reported into INSPECT by July 1, 2015.  The bill was modified and now requires the Professional Licensing Agency to study and report by October 1, 2014 on various issues relating to an INSPECT expansion.  Among others, the issues include: the impact of including all legend drugs in INSPECT; an analysis of security concerns related to patient and provider privacy; regulatory impact analysis and a fiscal impact analysis.  This bill has passed 3rd Reading and will likely go to conference committee for final amendment.
  • HB 1258: Distance treatment by physicians: This legislation will require the MLB to establish a pilot program before August 1, 2014 for physicians to provide telehealth services to patients without an in-person patient/physician relationship.  The MLB will set standards and procedures for physicians to follow when treating patients in the pilot program.  Several groups (including AHN and IU Health) testified that they plan to take advantage of the pilot opportunities within this bill.  This bill is on 3rd Reading today.   
  • SB 285: Tramadol and Insulin:  Backed by the Indiana Attorney General’s Rx Task Force, this bill would have made insulin prescription only and it would have made Tramadol a Schedule III drug.  In regards to Tramadol, IAFP expressed general support of efforts to curb prescription drug abuse, but indicated scheduling Tramadol may have unintended consequences and lead to the under treatment of pain.  IAFP’s message resonated with members and this language was stripped from the bill in the House.  It is possible this language could resurface during conference committee – we will watch this issue closely.
  • SB 50: Minors and Tanning Devices: This is a bill supported by the IAFP which prohibits a person less than 16 years old from using a tanning device at a tanning facility.  The bill has passed 3rdReading.  It was amended in the House, so it may go to conference committee.
  • SB 245: Schools and Auto-Injectable Epinephrine: This is another bill supported by the IAFP.  It will allow health care providers with prescriptive authority to prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine to a school or school district, and allow certain individuals employed by the school to fill, store and administer the drug.  The bill also provides civil immunity to the school employees and health care providers.  This bill passed 3rd Reading without amendment.  It will likely move to the Governor’s desk for final signature soon.
  • Several legislative attempts to schedule or make ephedrine/pseudoephedrine legend drugs died in committee.  It is unlikely legislation will pass this session dealing with this issue.