Pharmacy lobby, medical establishment at 'war' on Kansas drug injections

As Kansas legislators debate legislation granting pharmacists authority to administer drugs by injection, community pharmacies and primary care physicians tangled over its impact on patient care. Under Senate Bill 377, a licensed pharmacist would be able to dispense injections pursuant to a prescription order.

As Kansas legislators debate legislation granting pharmacists authority to administer drugs by injection, community pharmacies and primary care physicians tangled over its impact on patient care. Under Senate Bill 377, a licensed pharmacist would be able to dispense injections pursuant to a prescription order. Pharmacists are allowed under Kansas law to administer immunizations. Dean Benton, clinical care manager for Dillons Pharmacy, said the reform would be a convenience to customers who wish to have injectable medication administered in the same location they receive the drugs. Dillons operates 54 pharmacies in two dozen Kansas communities. "Rural areas of the state where patients currently have difficulty finding a provider for services would now have more opportunities available through this increased access," Benton said. The Kansas Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy embraced the change outlined in the Senate legislation. Rep. John Eplee (R-Atchison), a family physician, said the Senate bill was an overreach by the pharmacy industry that could prove detrimental to patient care. "In simple words, it is a turf war now commenced by the pharmacy lobby," Eplee asserted. "The bill imposes minimal limitations on the administration of injections." He told the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee the proposed reform would fragment medical care and place decisions in the hands of pharmacists without adequate training.