INTRODUCTION TO THE NCB ACCESSIBLE PRESCRIPTION PROJECT

RX READER PHASE 2

after the Law passed

This new page has been created to bring anyone interested up to speed with all that has happened since the Bill SB131 was passed and became effective on January 1, 2018.

Basically, efforts focused on three primary goals;

  1. informing the print impaired in Nevada about the Law and working with pharmacies to respect it;
  2. Working with the Nevada Pharmacy Board and Legislative Committee on Government Regulations to write regulations;
  3. Work with ACB affiliates in other states to pass the same legislation in their state.

To provide the details of each of our goals this page will contain the:

  1. Regulations as finally adopted by Nevada for the Prescription Reader Bill,
  2. as a result of the Lobbying school held at the American Council of the Blind national convention in St. Louis, MO., in July of 20118, a document titled "Steps to Success" was produced in collaboration with the En-vision America folks and NCB. That document is inserted below. You will also find a link to the www.staysaferx.org website which has a video of the lobbying school and other information pertinent to assisting others to pass legislation.

The Regulation language will be found after the "Steps to Success" along with a brief comment on their importance.

The effort to acquaint every print impaired person in Nevada with the Prescription Readers and the Law is not a quick and easy task. People are so inundated by advertising they easily tune out even good, potentially life saving information. We are creating new campaign to reach out again to the public. Nit an easy task so be prepared for a long term effort.

The staysaferx website is a source of a lot of the information states need to help them pass their own prescription reader Laws. It is not finished as information from other states is supposed to be put into it as their efforts progress. Please explore this site and be patient as it developes. Here is the link to it: www.staysaferx.org

"STEPS TO SUCCESS"
SB131 PRESCRIPTION READER LAW

Utilizing Nevada’s Success as a Roadmap for Enacting Legislation in Your State

In May of 2017, Nevada’s State Legislature unanimously passed SB131, a prescription reader bill sponsored by Senator Mo Denis. According to Sen. Denis, the keys to their success in Nevada included having the right legislator to sponsor the bill; working with opposition to work out all issues; and getting supporters to rally for the bill throughout the legislative process.

Find the Right Legislator to Sponsor the Bill
Find a legislator who is compassionate about those who are visually impaired, has the right contacts and trust of lobby groups. In Nevada, Sen. Denis has a long, successful history of working for folks with disabilities.

Identify and Work Out Opposition
Senator Denis worked with the bill drafters to present SB131; worked out the issues the opposition had at the introduction of the bill; and worked to rewrite the bill to satisfy all sides as much as possible. Sen. Denis had a very good relationship with lobbyists, the Nevada Retailers Association for example. Once the retailers were on board and the issues were worked out, the bill passed unopposed.

Provide Supporters to Rally for the Bill
Support was rallied each time a vote was to be taken by alerting all organizations and individuals via email. A proposed written request was sent out with the contact information for the Legislators who would be voting. We estimated over 3,000 people were alerted every time. People spoke at SB131 meetings and testified for talking prescription readers, providing real-life examples of how important the product was for the safety and quality of their lives.

Use Nevada’s success to achieve your goal! The sample strategic plan in this guide can help your group to successfully persuade your state legislature to pass a law requiring pharmacies to provide equal access to the printed prescription labels.


SAMPLE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR YOUR STATE

STRATEGY-Find the right legislator
The ideal representative is someone who is compassionate for people who are blind, visually and print impaired; has strong relationships with the right groups; has the trust of the potential opposition

Tactics:

Learn about the legislative process in your state

Become familiar with senators and their staff, the different legislative committees (who handles what type of legislation,) and how to get in touch with them

Contact Senator Mo Denis and ask for recommendations and contacts for your state

Recommended action items:

Strategy-Getting the lobby groups on board

Tactics:

Identify and work out the issues of those opposing the bill, rewrite the bill to satisfy all sides

Recommended action items:

Strategy-Engage the community

Tactic:

Build a group of supporters to rally behind the bill

Recommended action items:

Strategy – Engage the Media

Tactic:
Publicize your cause through media outlets

Recommended action items:

Strategy – Engage Local Businesses

Tactic:
Build a powerful support group made up of many people

Recommended action items:

GENERAL NOTES:

Stay Organized
Have files and folders for everything
Keep a record of who, what, why and when and the outcome of conversations

Educate your Supporters
Ensure they know the talking points and the importance of being consistent
Be courteous, patient, never get ‘pushy’
Do not take rejection of your message or rudeness personally

Create handouts
Plain, simple, quick and easy to read
Hand out or send to everyone you contact

Donations
You’ll have expenses; ask for donations; track everything

After the bill passes
Regulations will need to be written, stay in touch with legislators to assist You must be involved or a person unfamiliar with the needs of the visually impaired may write regulations that effectively kill your bill

Research
AFB.org and ACB.org is loaded with information.
Request a history of the legal actions trying to implement the use of prescription readers from En-vision America.
We could not find any real numbers of the frequency of the problems caused by medication errors, no one seems to track these deaths.

Approach
We quickly learned that talking about ADA rights or federal legislation giving “free and equal access” to the blind turned off state legislators. So we concentrated on the need for the devices so that people who are visually and print impaired could independently manage their prescription medications. The argument was sufficient, so we did not have to make this a “rights” issue. The legislators appreciated our focusing on the issue that people needed the readers to stay safe and live independently.

Testifying for the Bill
Selected persons spoke at legislative committee hearings in favor of SB 131. Senator Denis spoke first, followed by the demonstration of the reader. The president of the community organization which requested the bill spoke for about three minutes to enhance and wrap up what had been said and to formally request a “Do Pass” vote from the committee, and to thank them for their time and hard work. We arranged for the chair of a legislative citizens group to speak briefly in favor of SB 131. We kept it short and to the point, as our work prior to the hearing had already acquainted the committee with the facts.

Language of the bill
Nevada’s SB 131 does say the pharmacies must provide the prescription reader. However, federal laws allow the pharmacy to opt out by simply saying it is too expensive to do so. We emphasize that every pharmacy must tell every person that prescription readers are available and how to get one even if they do not provide them.

A key point when enlisting support is to remind people that many blind people do not go to get their own prescriptions; it is a family member or other care giver who gets them for the blind person. This is a very key point to be made over and over, as sighted people do not think of it.

Keep the bill simple. Please use ours as an example.

Talking with Pharmacies
The owners of the pharmacies or drugstores are the biggest hurdle, as they do not want to spend the money to provide accessible prescription labels. If pharmacists do not want to work with you, ask them to re-read their code of ethics and the oath they take. Google these so you have them and read them.

Remind them the federal laws all state they can ‘opt out’ and simply tell everyone they will not participate. This is legal and allowed. However, with SB 131 as law, in Nevada they still must tell every customer the prescription readers are available and how to get one. That means they must refer customers to another pharmacy.

Remind them this is where competition begins and the persons who need the prescription readers will go to the pharmacies who have them. It is a matter of life and death. Also remind them that the disabled and senior citizens who need prescription readers are their best customers.

NOTE ABOUT THE REGULATIONS LANGUAGE:
The Regulations written for the purpose of telling involved service providers how they will deliver the Law as intended by the requester is extremely important. Giid Laws can and have been rendered useless by bad regulations. Sometimes an industry will deliberately try to write them to make the Law ineffective, or a Lawyer in an agency will not understand the implications of the language they have produced. This is an innocent mistake. But no matter who is involved and what is produced for the language, the sponsor of the Bill and the requester must be vigilant and involved in the process to catch language problems. We had multiple conferences with everyone involved and had to be pushy to obtain odd wording. Senator Denis was right there with us which was a real help. Please use the Nevada version if you like as it works.

ADOPTED REGULATION OF THE
STATE BOARD OF PHARMACY
LCB File No. R131-17

EXPLANATION – Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [omitted material] is material to be omitted.

AUTHORITY: §1, NRS 639.070 and section 1 of Senate Bill No. 131, chapter 112, Statutes ofNevada 2017, at page 484 (NRS 639.28015).

A REGULATION relating to pharmacies; specifying the manner in which certain retail community retail pharmacies must provide notice of the availability of prescription readers; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

Legislative Counsel’s Digest:

Senate Bill No. 131 of the 79th Legislative Session requires a retail community pharmacy that dispenses drugs to notify each person to whom a drug is dispensed that a prescription reader is available to the person. (Section 1 of Senate Bill No. 131, Chapter 112, Statutes of Nevada2017, at page 484, (NRS 639.28015)) This regulation specifies the manner in which such notice must be provided.

Section 1. Chapter 639 of NAC is hereby amended by adding thereto a new section to read as follows:

1. To comply with the provisions of section 1 of Senate Bill No. 131, chapter 112, Statutes of Nevada 2017, at page 484, (NRS 639.28015), regarding notice about the availability of prescription readers, a retail community pharmacy shall provide:
(a) Written notice in the form of a sign that is posted in the pharmacy;
(b) Notice in writing that is given directly to the patient or caregiver of the patient to whom the drug is dispensed; or

--2--
Adopted Regulation R131-17

(c) Verbal notice by direct conversation between the staff of the pharmacy and the patient or caregiver of the patient to whom the drug is dispensed.
2. Upon request of the patient or caregiver of the patient to whom a drug is dispensed, a retail community pharmacy shall provide to the patient or caregiver a prescription reader or directions or advice on the manner in which to obtain a prescription reader