Massachusetts bill would recognize pharmacists as health care providers

Pharmacists, student pharmacists advocate for HB 2041

On April 9, pharmacists and student pharmacists packed the Massachusetts State House in Boston to advocate for HB 2041, An Act Recognizing Pharmacists as Healthcare Providers, sponsored by Massachusetts state Rep. Angelo Puppolo (D-Springfield).

“The turnout of pharmacists and student pharmacists was a great way of showing the passion we have for the profession,” said APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists National President Lucy West of Northeastern University School of Pharmacy.

According to the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association, the legislation would recognize registered pharmacists as health care providers.

It would allow pharmacists to bill MassHealth and the plans offered by the Group Insurance Commission for “drug therapy management services” to chronic disease patients when acting under the authority of a signed collaborative drug therapy management (CDTM) agreement with a physician; amend the current CDTM law to eliminate the list of disease states eligible for a CDTM agreement in a community setting to allow pharmacists and physicians to team up on any disease that the physician requests; and further amend the CDTM law to allow pharmacists to administer medications ordered by a prescriber.

It also would permit pharmacists to dispense nicotine replacement therapies and hormonal contraceptives by protocols established jointly by the state boards of medicine and pharmacy.

“When speaking to a lawmaker, constituents should be very familiar with the information they are presenting and be prepared to answer questions,” West told Pharmacy Today. “They should also remain confident, and don't be afraid to tell stories and connect with the lawmakers on a personal level. It's about building the relationship with the lawmakers and following up with them.”