Florida bill expands pharmacists on board, vaccine administration

May 19, 2014

A bill that originally proposed increasing the number of pharmacy techs Florida pharmacists could supervise to six or more has been passed by the state legislators. However, it is unclear whether Governor Rick Scott will sign it.

A bill that originally proposed increasing the number of pharmacy techs Florida pharmacists could supervise to six or more has been passed by state legislators. However, it is unclear whether Governor Rick Scott will sign it. After lobbying by the Florida Pharmacists Association (FPA), the bill was revised to remove language that would have increased pharmacy tech supervision from one to six more. “We were deeply concerned that there could have been some patient safety issues,” Michael Jackson, executive vice president and CEO of the FPA in Tallahassee, Fla., told Drug Topics. Instead, the legislature decided that they were not qualified to make a decision on the change and transferred the decision to the FBP. As a result, the bill now states that four of the seven pharmacist members of the state pharmacy board should be currently practicing pharmacists, whereas only two are required to be practicing pharmacists now. “We don’t know where the governor is on this, because there is a provision that modifies the number of pharmacists to sit on the board,” Jackson said. In addition to expanding pharmacist participation on the board, other provisions of the bill bode well for Florida pharmacists. The bill authorizes pharmacists to administer the meningococcal vaccine under physician protocol and removes the requirement for a pharmacist to have a script from a physician to administer the shingle vaccine. The bill also states that physicians must write the date out in text, instead of numeric symbols, such as May 15, 2014 instead of 05/14/14. “It was consistent with Florida law, and PBMs that look at prescriptions written that way have denied payment for claims because of the date issue,” Jackson said. The bill also removes the requirement that the quantity and date appear on the face of the prescription. “Some claims were being denied because that information was not on the face of the prescription,” Jackson said.