More states allow e-Rxing and collaborative practice, says NABP


More states now permit the transfer of electronic Rxs between physicians and pharmacies and two more states now permit collaborative practice agreements between physicians and pharmacists, according to NABP's annual survey of pharmacy law.



More states allow e-Rxing and collaborative practice, says NABP

The number of states allowing electronic transfer of prescriptions from prescribers and collaborative practice between physicians and pharmacists rose last year, according to an annual survey of pharmacy law.

Five more states now permit out-of-state prescribers to transmit Rxs to in-state pharmacies, bringing the total to 31, according to the 2001-2002 Survey of Pharmacy Law, published annually by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Four additional jurisdictions now allow e-prescribing between in-state physicians and in-state pharmacies, for a total of 36 states. A new question this year found that 30 states accept electronic signatures for noncontrolled substance Rxs.

The gains posted by collaborative practice were more modest, as Montana and Rhode Island enacted regulations permitting pharmacists to initiate, modify, and/or discontinue drug therapy under a collaborative practice protocol. Thirty-one states now allow R.Ph.s to enter such protocols. In another practice area, 38 states now allow pharmacists to administer drugs, with the addition last year of Montana and Wisconsin.

On the manpower front, the 53 jurisdictions providing data tallied 343,816 pharmacist licenses, up from 334,851 the previous year. Since many pharmacists are licensed in more than one state, a more accurate count of the number of pharmacists is found in the category of R.Ph.s with in-state addresses where they are more likely to be practicing. Pharmacy boards, including the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, reported there are 216,248 pharmacists with in-state addresses. Last year, there were 197,678 in-state pharmacists. The 18,570 increase is mostly due to the fact that Georgia, which did not previously break out its in-state data, came in with 9,299 such pharmacist licenses this time. Likewise, Massachusetts added 6,038 to the total of in-state licenses this time around.

Only 24 states provided data on the technician workforce, the first time NABP has included a tech census. The survey pegged the tech ranks at 117,552. California reported 26,7590, followed by Illinois with 22,500, and 10,030 in Alabama. However, large states, such as Florida, Michigan, New York, and Texas, did not provide data.

On another technician front, North Carolina and Texas joined the 21 other states that register techs. No additional states joined Alaska, Louisiana, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin in licensing techs, but Montana became the only state to certify technicians. Like their peers in Texas, techs in Montana must pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's exam.

The annual NABP snapshot of pharmacy law covered new ground this year, including continuous quality improvement (CQI) and workplace relief for pharmacists. Six states—California, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and West Virginia—have jumped on NABP's regulating for outcomes CQI bandwagon. The pharmacy boards in California, Maine, New York, North Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia reported that they have regulations aimed at relieving the R.Ph workload. In addition, Massachusetts instituted a meal break policy and is soliciting pilot project proposals to come up with solutions.

Carol Ukens


Carol Ukens. More states allow e-Rxing and collaborative practice, says NABP.

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