Beacon Hill Roll Call
Volume 38 - Report No. 40
September 30 - October 4, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Beacon Hill Roll Call. All Rights Reserved.
Beacon Hill Roll Call records local representatives' votes on one roll call from the week of Sept. 30 - Oct. 4. There were no roll calls in the Senate last week.
REGULATE COMPOUNDING PHARMACIES (H 3672)
House 157-0, approved and sent to the Senate a bill that would increase the state's oversight and regulation of compounding pharmacies and the state agencies that regulate them.
The bill comes nearly a year after the State Board of Pharmacy voted to permanently revoke the license of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, the pharmacy at the center of the 2012 spread of fungal meningitis that infected hundreds of people across the nation and killed 61. Provisions include establishing a specialty license for all in-state and out-of-state sterile compounding pharmacies; mandating unannounced, detailed inspections of all sterile compounding pharmacies; and requiring that the Department of Public Health track all compounded drugs made by state-licensed pharmacies.
Supporters said the bill sets many new standards and requires more transparency from the pharmacies, which will save lives. They argued it will hold pharmacies to high standards in quality control and sterility.
(A "Yes" vote is for the bill.)
Rep. Sheila Harrington Yes
ALSO UP ON BEACON HILL
DISABLED VETS (H 2617, H 3645)
The House gave initial approval to bills that would make more disabled veterans exempt from the auto sales tax and auto excise tax. Current law offers these exemptions to disabled veterans who buy a disabled veterans license plate for their car. These proposals would also offer the exemptions to disabled veterans who qualify for but have not purchased the special plate.
The measures also exempt from the excise tax disabled veterans who lease cars. Current law only provides the exemption for a disabled veteran who buys the car. Supporters said the bill aims to correct that situation by allowing disabled veterans to legally claim the benefits to which they are entitled, whether or not they have acquired the plates.
LICENSE AND REGULATE NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS (H 2003)
The Committee on Public Health held a hearing on a proposal to create a state board to license and regulate naturopathic doctors. The measure requires that these doctors have extensive training in a naturopathic program at an approved naturopathic medical college. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians defines naturopathic doctors as "primary care and specialty doctors who address the underlying cause of disease through effective, individualized natural therapies that integrate the healing powers of body, mind and spirit."
Massachusetts Society of Naturopathic Doctors supports the bill and noted on its website, "Licensing would allow ND's to provide the depth of health care that they are trained to give, providing ... better service and more treatment options. Most importantly, it would protect the health care consumer by preventing untrained people from calling themselves naturopathic doctors."
Massachusetts Medical Society opposed the bill and testified against it at the hearing. It said in a written statement, "Naturopathy is not a branch of medicine, but a hodgepodge of nutritional advice, home remedies, and discredited treatments."
The bill actually was approved by the House and Senate last year but the governor never signed it.