Sen. Townsend prefiles bills concerning ambulance services, pharmacy prescription refusals


Soraya Marashi


Several more noteworthy bills have been prefiled ahead of the Jan. 10 start date of the Arizona Legislature for the 2022 session. Sen. Kelly Townsend (R – Mesa) prefiled Senate Bills 1014 and 1016 on Dec. 3. The former concerns ambulance services in rural areas, while the latter has to do with refusal prohibitions for pharmacies.


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SB 1014 would allow a fire department to provide ambulance services to transport a patient in the event of a medical emergency regardless of whether that fire department has a certificate of necessity in rural areas of a county with a population of less than 500,000 people. 

Townsend told State of Reform about the bill’s aim:

“Emergency services should be available to the public in the most expedient way. We should not have set up services that are exclusive to one company in a certain area, prohibiting fire from responding if they are closer due to a contract with another ambulance service. They are farther and take longer, in some instances. Service territories are for Avon and lipstick, not life-saving services when seconds count. Let’s open this up so we can save more lives.”

SB 1016 would prohibit pharmacies from refusing to fill a prescription drug order that is being prescribed for off-label use and that is potentially lifesaving during a public health state of emergency. Townsend said:

“No pharmacist should have discretion to interfere when a provider has prescribed potentially life-saving medication during a pandemic.”

Townsend added that these bills will improve access to services and medications that can save more lives in Arizona. 

“Early treatment has been shown to have great success.  Denying that ability to try is inhumane and inappropriate.”

She said the rest of her health policy priorities for the upcoming session are to be determined.