California expands scope of pharmacy practice

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Along with a number of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-themed pieces of legislation, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a provision that will allow pharmacists to perform physical assessments; order and interpret laboratory tests; refer patients to other providers; start, adjust and terminate medications under physician protocol; and work with other healthcare providers to evaluate and manage a patient’s health issues.  

"This legislation will take important steps to allow pharmacists to provide patients care at a level they are educated and fully capable of providing," the National Community Pharmacists Association stated in a blog. "The bill also is notable for its collaborative approach to other healthcare providers. It is supported by many healthcare-related organizations including the California Association for Nurse Practitioners, the California Association of Physician Groups and the California Hospital Association."

"Hopefully adoption of this legislation by the most populous U.S. state will prompt more states to enact similar legislation in the coming months," the association added.

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