When patients get their prescriptions filled by pharmacists in California, they need to know that the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists have changed. Pharmacists have been granted healthcare “provider status,” according to Senate Bill 493. This bill was recently signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown and allows qualified pharmacists to perform the following duties:
- Provide vaccine shots
- Dispense some medications
- Order new medicines
- Adjust and discontinue certain drugs
- Order and interpret lab tests
- Provide medication consultations
This landmark bill drastically changes the responsibilities of pharmacists in California, but some doctors aren’t too happy about this new law. Viewed as encroaching on their professional roles, the physician organization has fought this bill for some time; however, much to their dismay, SB 493 passed. However, others feel it is perfect timing because there will be a doctor shortage due to the demands from Obamacare, and pharmacists will be able to help patients out.
When it comes to medication therapies, patients may be able to find help through their pharmacists instead of doctors after January 1, 2014, when the new law goes into effect. While some studies have shown that pharmacists can improve patient quality of life, others are concerned that the more pharmacists have on their plates the more likely it is for them to cause pharmacy errors. Consumers need to be aware that the more Americans who have healthcare coverage due to the Affordable Care Act, the more doctors and pharmacists will be busy and the easier it may be for them to cause a medication mistake.
If you have any questions about a potential pharmacy malpractice case, call us for a free case evaluation today at 888-526-7616. You can also request a free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.