Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: To encourage student pharmacists and residents to be involved in advocacy, and to describe the process of drafting, introducing and promoting legislation to enhance pharmacists’ scope of practice to include prescriptive authority for tobacco cessation products.
Methods: Nine states in which pharmacists can currently prescribe tobacco cessation products were identified through the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA). The statutes and regulations from these states identified were compiled and analyzed by a student pharmacist selected to serve as the Legislative Student Liaison for the Rhode Island Pharmacists Association. Exemplar parts of each state’s regulations were adapted and cobbled together to form a cohesive draft of a bill for introduction in the Rhode Island General Assembly. Each segment of the bill was selected based on the utility and prospective fit for the patient population of Rhode Island. States with exemplar laws upon which the majority of the RI bill was drafted included Colorado, Idaho and Arizona. A Representative and Senator to sponsor the bill were selected based on previous collaborations with RIPA and their Policy Analyst worked with the Legislative Team to finalize the bill language for introduction.
Results: House Bill 5558 and Senate Bill 0306 were introduced into the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare and the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services in February of 2019. They were both subsequently scheduled for hearing in front of the committees in March of 2019 and recommended to be held for further study. Student pharmacists, practicing pharmacists, insurers, chain pharmacy lobbyists and members of the public attended the hearings and testified on behalf of the bills. The Rhode Island Medical Society signed in as opposed the legislation. Currently the bills are being tracked for consideration by the committees and potential referral to the House and Senate for full vote.
Conclusion: Student pharmacists, residents and pharmacists can effectively collaborate with state pharmacy associations and local elected officials to draft and introduce legislation that will enhance public access to tobacco cessation therapy through pharmacist prescriptive authority.