Ohio bill would expand pharmacists’ patient care services

HB 188 reworks state’s pharmacist consult agreement

Ohio pharmacists will be able to perform more patient care services under a bill that Gov. John Kasich signed into law on Dec. 22. 

HB 188 removes the red tape under Ohio’s former consult agreement and empowers pharmacists to do much more than medication therapy management.

“If the physician wants to utilize the pharmacist they are able to do so in a seamless way,” Antonio Ciaccia, director of government and public affairs for the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA), told pharmacist.com.

He said the bill will help grow the scope of pharmacists’ patient care services for the purpose of bettering patient care.

Under the new consult agreement provisions in the bill, Ohio pharmacists would be able to order blood and urine tests, analyze the results of those tests, and modify a patient’s drug therapy regimen, including ordering new drugs.

In another provision of the law, pharmacists can order up to a 30-day supply (or the smallest unit measurement possible if it can’t be broken into a 30-day supply) of refills for patients whose lives are in danger without their medication and when a physician can’t be reached if the patient’s prescription has expired. 

The law also allows pharmacists to administer drugs when operating within a consult agreement.

Ciaccia said further rules and guidelines based upon the bill will be developed by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy in the coming months, pending the governor’s signing.

According to Ciaccia, the law has been years in the making, but what ultimately led to the bill’s passage was gaining the support of the physician community. Ohio state Rep. Stephen Huffman (R–District 80), MD, came on this year as one of the primary sponsors of HB 188, along with his joint sponsor Ohio state Rep. Nathan Manning (R–District 55).

Updated December 23, 2015