Proposed bill could expand pharmacy services



What can your pharmacist do for you and why should it matter? I can help you answer those questions.

On March 23, HB 377 a bill about collaborative care agreements for pharmacists was passed by the House and Senate and is now on the governor’s desk to be signed.

Collaborative practice agreements are formal relationships between pharmacists and physicians or other providers that allow for expanded services the pharmacist can provide to patients and the healthcare team. These agreements define certain patient care functions that a pharmacist is independently able to provide in defined settings.

This new legislation is huge for the practice of pharmacy. Pharmacists will now be able to collaborate more fully on the care of patients, which is exactly what Kentucky needs right now.

According to the Commonwealth of Kentucky Health Care Workforce Capacity Report, in 2012, the number of full time primary care physicians needed was 3,790 across the state.

61 percent of these physician positions were in rural counties. The state of Kentucky is in desperate need of pharmacists to step up and assist physicians in providing primary care service to patients.

So again we come back to the question we started with: why should this matter to me?

Pharmacists hold an essential role in managing your health and there are many reasons you should start turning to your local pharmacist for care. It has been proven that when a pharmacist is added to your health care team your health care outcomes will improve.

Not only can pharmacists save your life, they can save you significant health care costs as well. There are numerous things your pharmacist can now do for you that you probably had no idea they could do before. For example, we can perform cholesterol screenings, immunizations, blood pressure and glucose screenings, and more, all in the convenience of your local pharmacy.

Did you know your pharmacist is now permitted to perform your assessment when you come to your appointment, provide drug counseling and disease state referrals, order laboratory tests, and initiate, monitor and continue your drug therapies?

Most people don’t and that is why I am writing today to inform you of all the opportunities your local pharmacist can bring to you.

Know your medicine. Know your pharmacist.

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