Report Title:

Prescription Drugs; Federal Medical Supply Schedule

 

Description:

Provides a tax credit for pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies who donate pharmaceuticals and health care supplies to needy persons. Restricts the prices for prescription drugs charged to individuals with no health insurance to no more than the rate set by the federal medical supply schedule. Extends the Good Samaritan Law to pharmacists who provide pharmaceuticals and health care supplies to needy persons. (HB411 HD1)

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

411

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the cost of prescription drugs has risen significantly and continues to rise, which makes it impossible for certain individuals in the State to afford necessary medication. The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Provide tax credits to pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies who donate pharmaceuticals and health care supplies to be used by needy persons;

(2) Restricts the prices for prescription drugs charged to individuals without health insurance in this State to no more than the rate set by the federal medical supply schedule; and

(3) Extend the Good Samaritan Law to pharmacists who provide pharmaceuticals and health care supplies to needy persons.

SECTION 2. Chapter 235, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is

amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated

and to read as follows:

"235- Pharmaceutical tax credit for pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies. (a) There shall be allowed to each pharmacist and pharmaceutical company taxpayer subject to taxes imposed by this chapter, a pharmaceutical tax credit for donating pharmaceuticals and health care supplies to be used by needy persons. This tax credit shall be applied to the taxpayer's net income tax liability, if any, imposed by this chapter for the taxable year in which the credit is properly claimed.

(b) The amount of the tax credit shall be $ .

(c) If the credit under this section exceeds the taxpayer's income tax liability, the excess of credit over liability shall be refunded to the taxpayer; provided that no refunds or payments on account of the tax credit allowed by this section shall be made for amounts less than $1. All claims for a credit under this section must be properly filed on or before the end of the twelfth month following the close of the taxable year for which the credit may be claimed. Failure to comply with the foregoing provision shall constitute a waiver of the right to claim the credit.

(d) For purposes of this section:

"Needy person" means any natural person who lacks the means to obtain adequate or proper pharmaceuticals or health care supplies, as determined by a practitioner at a Hawaii qualified health center, established under section 346-41.5, to be in need of service.

"Pharmaceuticals and health care supplies" means any medicine (prescription or nonprescription, excluding all controlled substances listed in chapter 329) or health care supplies such as soap, personal sanitary products, baby formula, dietary supplement, health care aids such as thermometers, surgical gloves, or bandages, or any other item that is customarily fit for human consumption or external use, before the expiration date stamped on the product, if any.

"Pharmaceutical company" means any company that manufactures pharmaceuticals and health care supplies.

"Pharmacists" means a person licensed to practice pharmacy as defined in chapter 461."

SECTION 3. Chapter 346, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"346-    Prescription drugs; individuals with no health insurance; federal medical supply schedule; verification; rules. (a) Individuals who do not have health insurance and who do not qualify for the department of human services fee-for-service Medicaid program or the QUEST managed care program, or any other health insurance program for low-income individuals, shall not be required to pay for prescription drugs at prices higher than those set by the federal medical supply schedule.

(b) The director of human services, assisted by the insurance commissioner and the director of health, shall establish a system to verify whether an individual is eligible for health insurance under subsection (a) and the individual's actual status with regard to having health insurance for purposes of qualifying for lower prescription drug prices.

(c) The director of human services shall adopt rules under chapter 91 to implement this section, including how often an individual's status shall be reviewed, the method of verifying an individual's status, and the method of identifying such individuals to pharmacists in the State."

SECTION 4. Section 328C-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes,

is amended to read as follows:

"[[]328C-2[]] Exceptions to liability. (a) A charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization which in good faith receives pharmaceuticals or health care supplies, apparently fit for human consumption or external use, and distributes them to needy persons at no charge, shall not be liable for any civil damages or criminal penalties resulting from the use of the pharmaceuticals or health care supplies donated to needy persons unless an injury or illness results to those needy persons as a result of that organization's gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.

(b) This section shall not relieve any organization from any other duty imposed upon it by law for the inspection of donated pharmaceuticals or health care supplies or for any provisions regarding the handling of those products, nor relieve any health care provider from liability arising out of the prescription of such pharmaceuticals or health care supplies.

(c) Any pharmacist, who in good faith provides pharmaceuticals and health care supplies to needy persons without remuneration or expectation of remuneration, shall be exempt from civil liability for injuries and damages resulting from their acts or omissions in providing pharmaceuticals and health care supplies, except for gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions on the part of the pharmacist."

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.