Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Expedited Partner Therapy Legislation on Fast Track

Planned Parenthood is lobbying for Assembly Bill 653 and it’s companion legislation, Senate Bill 460.  These are Bills which allows physicians and physician assistants and certified advanced practice nurse to provide “expedited partner therapy”.  This legislation allows these medical professionals to prescribe, dispense or furnish to a patient an antimicrobial drug to be used by a sexual partner of the patient to treat various sexually transmitted diseases without have a physical exam of the sexual partner.  These Bills also allows a pharmacist to dispense the medication even without knowing the name or address of the person for whom their prescribed. In lieu of having the unknown patient’s information they are to just put “EPT” in bold-face capital letters on the bottle.

This legislation also exempts the physician or nurse who prescribed the medication and it exempts the pharmacist who dispenses the drugs from any civil liability for injury to or the death of a patient’s sexual partner unless an act or omission of the physician, nurse or pharmacist involved “reckless, wanton, or intentional misconduct”.

The Capital Times newspaper quoted Tom Engels, vice president for public affairs for the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, which opposes the measure as saying, “We’re really concerned about a law that would allow pharmacists to present a medicine to someone they don’t ever see.  It comes down to patient safety.  The pharmacist won’t know anything about other medicines the patient might be on or potential allergic reactions.”

AB-653 and SB-460 were just introduced on Thursday, January 14, 2010.  Already AB-653 has a public hearing scheduled this morning, January 20, 2010 at 10:30am in room 417 North (GAR Hall) in the State Capitol.  It is unknown at this time when the Assembly Committee on Health and Healthcare Reform will vote on AB-653 and pass it on to the full Assembly.

You may contact your State Representative and Senator about these pieces of legislation through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472.

Concerned individuals may also contact the Representatives on the Assembly Committee on Heath and Healthcare Reform:

Jon Richards (Milwaukee) – Chair - 1-888-534-0019
Kelda Helen Roys (Madison) – Vice Chair - (608) 266-5340
Chuck Benedict (Beloit) – 1-888-534-0045
Jennifer Shilling (LaCrosse) – 1-888-534-0095
Amy Sue Vruwink (Milladore) – 1-888-534-0070
Donna Seidel (Wausau) – 1-888-534-0085
Sandy Pasch (Whitefish Bay) – 1-888-534-0022
Penny Bernard Schaber (Appleton) – 1-888-534-0057
Leah Vukmir (Wauwatosa) – 1-888-534-0014
Kitty Rhoades (Hudson) – 1-888-529-0030
Jeff Stone (Greendale) – 1-888-534-0082
Patricia Strachota (West Bend) – 1-888-534-0058
John Nygren (Marinette) – 1-888-534-0089

SB-460 is in the Senate Committee on Health, Health Insurance, Privacy, Property Tax Relief, and Revenue.  Although they have not scheduled a public hearing as of this writing, they can be contacted as follows:

Jon Erpenbach (Wanakee) – Chair – 1-888-549-0027
Tim Carpenter (Milwaukee) – Vice Chair – 1-800-249-8173
Judith Robson (Beloit) – 1-800-334-1468
Julie Lassa (Stevens Point) – 1-800-925-7491
Mary Lazich (New Berlin) – 1-800-334-1442
Ted Kanavas (Brookfield) – 1-800-863-8883
Alberta Darling (River Hills) – 1-800-863-1113