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News News
Interim Charges for House Committees
Article By: by Texas State Rep. Larry Phillips
Posted: 7/17/2014 Views: 782  Impressions: 13215
Categories: Politics



This week I will discuss the interim charges recently issued to the House Committee on Public Health. Interim charges are the issues that the Speaker asks committees to study during the time between regular legislative sessions in order to make recommendations for legislation for the following legislative session. The charges are good indicators of what legislation the legislature will take up during the next session. Legislators rely on public input when crafting legislation, and it is important that they hear from people during the interim.

House Committee on Public Health

* Assess the prevalence of nonmedical prescription drug use in the state (including opioid analgesics, stimulants, tranquilizers, and sedatives). Identify adverse health impacts. Recommend strategies to curb emerging substance abuse trends among children, pregnant women, and adults, as well as to reduce health care costs and mortality.
* Study and make recommendations for improvements to the licensing, regulation, and monitoring of compounding pharmacies, including a review of the joint cooperative efforts between the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, Department of State Health Services, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
* Identify strategies to support the efficient exchange of electronic health information with Texas Health and Human Services enterprise agencies. Examine legal and technical issues around the accessibility of information held in registries maintained by state agencies to authorized health care providers. Identify issues related to health information exchange and providers' liability, as well as concerns related to transitioning patient data in cases where a provider selects a new electronic health record vendor.
* Examine the current practice for dispensation of biologic and follow-on biologic (biosimilar) pharmaceutical products in our state. Review any practices for interchangeability of drugs that might pertain to these particular medicines. Review and make recommendations regarding the substitution of biosimilar and biologic medicines.
* Monitor transition of the state's immunization registry to a new system. Determine whether the registry can be better utilized to prevent and/or respond to communicable disease outbreaks, including pertussis. Identify potential factors contributing to the rise in the number of pertussis cases and strategies to prevent future outbreaks.

The House Committee on Public Health can be reached at 512-463-0806. For more information on these charges or any other matter of state government, please contact my office by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by emailing me at larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us. My district office phone number is (903) 891-7297.





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