Workers Comp Zone


Here’s a legislative stinker for you: SB 1096.

The bill would allow pharmacies to sell patient information to pharmaceutical companies, who would then be able to communicate directly with patients about prescription refills.

The rationale? Some patients forget to take their medicine, and these communications would allow for reminders to people who might otherwise skip maintaining their own health. This has caused some mental health advocates to line up in favor of the bill.

Proponents have also cited provisions of the proposed law which would require disclosure to patients that the pharmacy made money from selling the information. Patients would be able to opt out.

Not surprisingly, the sponsor of this bill, State Senator Ron Calderon
(from Montebello, in Los Angeles County) has been a big recipient of pharmaceutical and drugstore pac monies.

Sure, there are some people that might benefit. But the impact on patient privacy is too high. The bill would contain some privacy features, but ultimately would just accelerate the problem of patient information being dispersed into too many hands.

The bill’s status? Currently the bill has failed to clear the Senate Health committee. But if the proponents can garner one more vote, the bill could be back. A hearing is set for March 26.

Calderon has indicated that he won’t support an amendment that would condition these communications on written patient consent.

It’s the old opt-in vs opt-out controversy.

Opt-in. That’s workerscompzone’s stand. What’s yours?

The bill is viewable here: … r=calderon

Julius Young
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Category: Political developments