Pharmacist Prescribing: Practical and Legal Considerations- Pharmacist
Nearly 90% of Americans live within 5 miles of a community pharmacy. This proximity, in addition to their expertise in drug therapy, puts pharmacists in a unique position to oversee and manage patients’ medications.The pharmacy profession has consistently advocated for expanding the scope of pharmacist's practice to include patient care services beyond the traditional role of dispensing. This expansion includes authorizing pharmacists to prescribe medications.Authorization for pharmacists to prescribe is defined by state regulations, federal agencies (eg, Indian Health Service [IHS], Veterans Health Administration [VHA]), employers, and professional organizations.At the state level, a number of advances have been made that provide pharmacists with limited prescriptive authority. Although almost every state authorizes pharmacists to prescribe to some extent, the models and restrictions vary – leading to considerable state-to-state variability. As of 2016, 49 states and the District of Columbia had enabled prescriptive authority under collaborative practice agreements (CPAs), standing orders, and/or statewide protocols. Currently, pharmacist prescribing at the state level generally exists along a continuum that includes 2 categories of prescriptive authority.