Pharmacists may soon be able to provide certain services to patients without doctor’s script

Pharmacists may soon be able to dispense certain medical tests and vaccines without a doctor’s prescription, thanks to a vote by Virginia’s Joint Commission on Healthcare recently.

 

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The commission voted to recommend pharmacists be able to provide tuberculous testing, provide HIV prophylaxis and prescribe devices, such as insulin syringes. Allowing pharmacists to prescribe devices will allow the purchases to go through insurance companies, lowering the cost for consumers.

A workgroup made up of pharmacy groups, health care plan providers and physician groups unanimously agreed that pharmacists should be able to provide these services. The commission also unanimously agreed to recommend pharmacists be able to test for the flu. The Medical Society of Virginia, which was part of the workgroup, disagreed that pharmacists should be able to administer these tests.

Senator Barbara Favola made the motion to make the recommendation and it was unanimously approved by the commission.

The group also adopted its 2021 member study priorities which include increasing the nursing facility workforce, addressing affordability in the individual health care market and supporting elderly Virginians in the community. The commission’s stakeholder briefings will be focused on strengthening the behavioral health workforce, addressing disparities in maternal and child health and reducing unnecessary emergency department use.