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Government Affairs Report
We Have a Budget and a Slow Moving Task Force
by Scott A. Meyers, Executive Vice President
Since the last issue of the KeePosted, published in May of this year, the General Assembly did reconvene for a much shorter than usual Spring Session. They managed to pass a budget in the 3-4 day shortened session along with a few other bills -many related to the COVID-19 pandemic and a few more that prevented several sunsets from occurring. Fortunately for pharmacy, no major damage was done, but that really means that we can expect more than the usual headaches from this fall’s veto session.
The Task Force met via conference call on Monday, May 11th and again on Tuesday, June 16th. During the May call, the Task Force voted to recommend new Rules related to Section 15.1 of the Act. That is the new section on Pharmacy Working Conditions. The proposed rule would exempt pharmacy residents from the 12-hour shift length limit if they were participating in a nationally accredited residency program whose program rules met the national duty hour standards.
The Task Force also discussed the use of NABP’s CPE Monitor by the State of Illinois to monitor pharmacist and certified technician compliance with the Act’s continuing education requirements. No final vote was taken.
At the June 16th Meeting of the Task Force, there was discussion on clarifying additional requirements of Section 15.1 of the Act pertaining to taking meal breaks and their documentation. There was a push to exempt pharmacists who do not have product verification responsibilities during their work shifts. This proposal was met with some concern and was referred to the next meeting to clarify the definition of those who could be exempted from the requirement to take and to document meal and rest breaks.
The notes from the July Task Force will be available in the next KeePosted. You can also monitor the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website at www.idfpr.gov
Finally, ICHP continues to provide member assistance with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ICHP office staff continue to update the COVID-19 Resource page on the ICHP website. The page includes a variety of documents including:
- CDC COVID-19 website
- ASHP COVID-19 resource page
- Multiple documents from State of Illinois Agencies and IPhA
- Updates from USP
ICHP staff continue to post new resources as they are available and continue to conduct medication shortage surveys with the results provided to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. ■