CDC releases practical guide for pharmacists to establish collaborative practice agreements

Resource includes a customizable CPA template and state-specific details

A new CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP) resource outlines the steps to initiating and the practical elements of executing collaborative practice agreements (CPAs). CPAs, which formalize practice relationships between prescribers and pharmacists, are an increasingly common way to integrate pharmacists into team-based care. “Advancing Team-Based Care Through Collaborative Practice Agreements: A Resource and Implementation Guide for Adding Pharmacists to the Care Team” features a round-up of the laws governing CPAs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and includes a customizable CPA template.

Pharmacists in CPAs—the product of trusting relationships and compatible interests—are authorized by prescribers to perform certain patient care functions, such as initiating or modifying medication therapy, ordering lab tests, and authorizing refills. CPAs may differ in scope and are governed by laws and regulations that vary considerably from state to state.

State laws can differ on whether CPAs apply to single or multiple patients, are limited to certain practice settings, which parties are allowed to enter them (e.g., all prescribers, physicians only, physicians and nurse practitioners), pharmacist qualifications (e.g., approved by or registered with state boards, PharmD, continuing education), and more. Some states require parties to have liability insurance or declare CPAs invalid after a certain period of time.

The resource helps pharmacists and prescribers navigate the web of CPA requirements and customize a CPA template to best address their individual clinical, legal, and administrative circumstances.

A collaboration between CDC, the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, APhA, and others, the resource emphasizes how team-based care and utilization of CPAs can lead to more effectively managed chronic disease, particularly hypertension and cardiovascular disease. It includes a letter signed by the American Medical Association and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners supporting CPAs as a means to leverage the value of pharmacists’ services and facilitate coordinated care.