In an apparent first, Massachusetts has added a physician and a nurse as members of the state pharmacy board.
In an apparent first for pharmacy regulation, Massachusetts has added a physician and a nurse as designated members of the state's pharmacy board.
A bill that sailed through the state assembly last year mandated that the pharmacy board include a physician and a nurse as regular members. The new law also expanded the board membership from seven members to 11 by adding another consumer representative and a long-term care pharmacist, as well as a physician and nurse. In addition, only two pharmacists from any one practice setting can serve on the board at the same time.
"I'm not aware of any other state boards that have a physician and a nurse," said Charles Young, executive director, Massachusetts pharmacy board. "The nursing board expanded as well, adding a physician and a pharmacist. The board of medicine was supposed to change, but it managed to get out of it. I can't imagine why."
The Massachusetts mandate that the board include other healthcare professionals is a first to the best of his knowledge, said Carmen Catizone, executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. "I know Utah has a technician on the board," he said. "Several boards do have a physician or nurse or architect or engineer as their consumer members. The Oklahoma board, for example, has an oral maxillofacial surgeon as a consumer representative. But I'm not aware of any other board that has a specific spot designated for other healthcare professionals."
The legislation also did a bureaucratic shuffle, moving the pharmacy board from the department of consumer affairs to the department of public health. The move may actually expand the board's reach, said Young, who explained that the board's present jurisdiction is over the professionals who work in hospitals and clinics but not the sites themselves. "Now, being under the department of public health, the board will be able to facilitate standards of practice in hospitals and clinics," he added.
Carol Ukens. Doctor, nurse join Massachusetts board.