Another modest reform to pharmacist scope-of-practice has been introduced in Arkansas, this time to allow pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives:
An act to amend the the provisions of the Arkansas code concerning the practice of pharmacy; to authorize pharmacists to provide access to and administration of oral contraceptives; and for other purposes.
The bill is very modest in its scope–all it would change in practice (puns intended) is that pharmacists may administer oral contraceptives. It also comes with a mandatory training program with the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, and the requirement that pharmacists provide a referral for those who haven’t seen a primary care physician in the past six months.
Despite being modest, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. A New Jersey bill would allow pharmacist interns to administer vaccines, and pharmacist prescribing has been in place in the UK for decades.
While not earth-shattering, this reform is an excellent example of the low-hanging fruit that legislators should go after to trim the fat in our healthcare system.