The legislation includes authorization for pharmacists to administer drugs and routine vaccinations, as well as order and interpret tests to monitor drug therapies. It also establishes board recognition for an advanced-practice pharmacist and specifies additional functions that can be performed by such providers, including patient assessments.
“With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act at a time when the number of primary-care physicians continues to shrink, we believe this legislation will help ensure that the millions of new patients receiving insurance will be able to access health care services through their local pharmacist,” California Pharmacists Association CEO Jon Roth said in a news release.
The bill, supported by the California Pharmacist Association and backed by both parties in the California Senate and Assembly, is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
The California Medical Association was opposed to the bill in its original form because it authorized pharmacists to perform duties it perceived to be beyond their scope without the collaboration of a physician. But once amendments were added that include integration with a physician and create the advanced-practice pharmacist designation—with appropriate education and training—the association moved their position to a neutral stance.
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