Human Resources Committee Report – week 7, 2017

SF 52 – Fetal tissue
SF 183 – Save Haven Act updates
SSB 1029 – Prescribing biological products



Senate Study Bill 1029 updates current law to enable the biological substitution.  Current state law does not provide a clear path for pharmacists to substitute biological drug products. There are two kinds of drugs, chemical and biologic. The biological products differ from traditional generics. Biosimilars are not identical; they are just similar. Biologic medicines are used to treat serious and chronic diseases, including  cancer and multiple sclerosis. This bill allows the pharmacist to substitute an FDA-approved interchangeable biosimilar for a prescribed originator biologic without first seeking approval from the physician. It also requires the pharmacist to communicate to the physician that the biosimilar product was dispensed. This may provide increased access to lower-cost drugs.
[2/20: short form (Chapman excused)]


Senate File 52 creates a new Code section that prohibits an individual from acquiring, providing, receiving, transferring or using fetal tissue in Iowa. The prohibition does not apply to diagnostic or remedial tests; procedures or observations to deter life or health of fetus; actions taken to dispose of the fetal tissue; or for pathological study. The University of Iowa offered an amendment that allows a family to donate fetal remains after miscarriage or still birth; allow for pathological and genetic counseling of fetal remains; and grandfathers in all existing cell lines and cultures being used prior to January 1, 2017. This allows researchers to continue their work at the University of Iowa. The amendment was adopted.
[2/22: short form (Bolkcom “no”; Chelgren excused)]


Senate File 183 relates to the Newborn Safe Haven Act, which allows a parent to relinquish physical custody of a newborn infant up to 14 days old, without fear of prosecution for abandonment. The bill expands the definition of “institutional health facility,” which is where infants can be left. It expands to emergency care programs and facilities, as long as they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
[2/22: short form (Chelgren excused)]