Sen. Hansen’s pharmacy bill sent to House

LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Sen. Goeff Hansen that could establish new approaches to the way medical prescriptions are delivered.

Senate Bill 373 would enable pharmacies to conduct pilot projects that could utilize new or expanded technologies or processes to provide patients with better pharmacy products in a more efficient manner.

“This legislation will maintain and enhance patient access to necessary pharmacy services while ensuring the patient’s safety,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “In the pharmacy industry, new technologies and practices have the potential to improve access to products and services for the consumer.”

Hansen said that currently, automated machines are allowed to dispense prescription drugs in limited designated facilities, such as hospitals, hospices and nursing homes. Michigan pharmacists are required to be available for questions from customers each time a new prescription is dispensed, regardless of the location.

However, Michigan law does not take into consideration technology that would allow the customer to communicate with a pharmacist via a video screen. By authorizing the Michigan Board of Pharmacy to conduct a pilot project, dispensing machines could be installed to allow customers to have access to pharmacists via video.

“Authorizing pilot projects, such as the use of video technology, gives pharmacies the ability to explore innovative ideas on a small scale under controlled conditions,” Hansen said. “If these ideas are successful, they could then be offered across Michigan.”

Hansen emphasized that his bill will not affect the doctor-patient relationship.

“Doctors will still be the ones prescribing the medication,” he said. “Pharmacies will simply fill those prescriptions. A patient’s relationship with his or her doctor remains vital to ensure patient safety and effective health care.”

SB 373 has been sent to the Michigan House for consideration.

Senate committee to take up Sen. Goeff Hansen’s bill that would clarify state’s Promise Zone scholarship program

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, announced Wednesday that the Senate Economic Development Committee will meet in Muskegon this Friday, Sept. 6, to take up a bill he authored to improve a statewide scholarship program.

Senate Bill 312 would clarify the requirements of Michigan Promise Zone scholarship programs throughout the state.

What:
Senate Economic Development Committee meeting

Who:
• Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, chair of the committee
• Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart    
• Other members of the committee
• Interested members of the public

When:
Friday, Sept. 6 at 10 a.m.

Where:
Muskegon Community College
Blue and Gold Room
221 Quarterline Road
Muskegon Township, MI  49442

Brief:
The committee will take up Senate Bill 312, a measure sponsored by Hansen that would clarify the requirements of Michigan Promise Zone scholarship programs throughout the state.

The Promise Zone scholarships, made possible by the creation of 10 promise zones across the state under the Michigan Promise Zone Authority Act of 2009, are intended as additional financial resources for eligible students to use toward a post-secondary education.

SB 312 would help provide increased access to higher educational opportunities for Muskegon area students.