Special Commission to Study Switching Medications

The commission shall investigate and study several areas including, the frequency by which patients are switched from prescription medications to other medications for non-medical reasons and without the consent or notification of the patients’ prescribing physicians; the frequency of a health provider prescribing an alternative drug in response to changes in health plan policies mid-year for non-medical reasons; evaluating the role of financial incentives to pharmacists and prescribers in prescription drug switching decisions, including fee, incentive or other contractual reward for choosing a drug alternative; determining the total cost to the commonwealth when individuals are switched from prescription drugs that have been safe and effective, including increased use of services, emergency rooms visits, inpatient hospital stays and outpatient office visits; and identifying the patient populations most impacted by and vulnerable to being switched from prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.

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