(a) A physician providing care to an employee under this subchapter shall prescribe for the employee any necessary prescription drugs, and order over-the-counter alternatives to prescription medications as clinically appropriate and applicable, in accordance with applicable state law and as provided by Subsection (b). A doctor providing care may order over-the-counter alternatives to prescription medications, when clinically appropriate, in accordance with applicable state law and as provided by Subsection (b).
(b) The commissioner by rule shall require the use of generic pharmaceutical medications and clinically appropriate over-the-counter alternatives to prescription medications unless otherwise specified by the prescribing doctor, in accordance with applicable state law. The commissioner by rule shall adopt a closed formulary under Section 413.011. Rules adopted by the commissioner shall allow an appeals process for claims in which a treating doctor determines and documents that a drug not included in the formulary is necessary to treat an injured employee's compensable injury.
(c) Except as otherwise provided by this subtitle, an insurance carrier may not require an employee to use pharmaceutical services designated by the carrier.
(d) The commissioner shall adopt rules to allow an employee to purchase over-the-counter alternatives to prescription medications prescribed or ordered under Subsection (a) or (b) and to obtain reimbursement from the insurance carrier for those medications.
(e) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), the commissioner by rule shall allow an employee to purchase a brand name drug rather than a generic pharmaceutical medication or over-the-counter alternative to a prescription medication if a health care provider prescribes a generic pharmaceutical medication or an over-the-counter alternative to a prescription medication. The employee shall be responsible for paying the difference between the cost of the brand name drug and the cost of the generic pharmaceutical medication or of an over-the-counter alternative to a prescription medication. The employee may not seek reimbursement for the difference in cost from an insurance carrier and is not entitled to use the medical dispute resolution provisions of Chapter 413 with regard to the prescription. A payment described by this subsection by an employee to a health care provider does not violate Section 413.042. This subsection does not affect the duty of a health care provider to comply with the requirements of Subsection (b) when prescribing medications or ordering over-the-counter alternatives to prescription medications.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the commissioner by rule shall adopt a fee schedule for pharmacy and pharmaceutical services that will:
(1) provide reimbursement rates that are fair and reasonable;
(2) assure adequate access to medications and services for injured workers;
(3) minimize costs to employees and insurance carriers; and
(4) take into consideration the increased security of payment afforded by this subtitle.
(g) Section 413.011(d) and the rules adopted to implement that subsection do not apply to the fee schedule adopted by the commissioner under Subsection (f).
Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1456, § 6.01, eff. June 17, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 468, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 265 (H.B. 7), § 3.090, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 705 (H.B. 528), § 2, eff. June 17, 2011.