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Pharmacist Scope of Practice

May 12, 2022
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Ramon Martinez III

Executive Summary 

Professional pharmacists are often required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, pass a licensure exam, and earn state board approval. Both state legislative policies and changes in state pharmacy board policies have been amended in the last several years, expanding pharmacists’ ability to provide services above traditional services (e.g, dispensing medications, immunizing, and initiating therapeutic regimens). In the Missouri 2022 legislative session, HB 2452 proposes to expand pharmacists’ authorized practices to include the administration of any medication (with some exceptions) authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, establish a medication therapy regimen plan (with a statewide standing order in effect), and recommends pharmacists obtain two hours of continuing education in suicide awareness and prevention. 

Highlights 

  • In the state of Missouri (RSMo 338.010), pharmacists are authorized to dispense medications with prescriptions, immunize, and prescribe medication therapy plans.
  • Evidence exists for improved health access in rural communities when expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice. 
  • Modest increases in vaccinations have also been observed after expanding pharmacists’ scopes of practice.
  • States have also passed policies allowing pharmacists to administer COVID-19 vaccines, prescription of hormonal contraceptives, naloxone, and tobacco cessation aids, modification of prescriptions, limited emergency refills, and rapid diagnostic tests. 

Limitations 

  • It is not guaranteed that modifications to pharmacist scope of practice will  remove all barriers to access for expanded pharmacy services.
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