Many of you have been requesting an update on prescriber status of pharmacists in Colorado since our blog post “Pharmacist Prescribing in Colorado – Analysis and Status” in which we asked:
- Could it be that all the reports in the media announcing that pharmacists are allowed to prescribe birth control are not accurate?
- Does prescribing per statewide protocol fall under the definition of pharmaceutical care where it clearly states “pharmaceutical care” does not include prescriptive authority?
- Is it true that there is no statutory authority for pharmacists to independently prescribe under statewide protocol?
The answer is yes to all three questions.
On January 22, 2018 the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy (SBOP) held a public stakeholder meeting regarding the implementation of rules related to Senate Bill 16-135. Value Pharmacists was represented by Val Kalnins Executive Director “emeritus” of the Colorado Pharmacists Society.
The central issue of the meeting was to discuss drug therapy management (Rule 6), collaborative practice agreements (Rule 17) and how these rules correlate. Additionally, feedback was solicited on proposed changes. The proposed rule modifications strike the word “prescribe” and replace it with the word “dispense” in every occurrence in Rule 17 Appendices A & B.
When questioned, the SBOP reiterated that according to state statute (law) pharmacists are “not allowed to (independently) prescribe.” State Board of Pharmacy representatives were asked the following questions:
- “Is it true that the pharmacists of Colorado do not have the authority to prescribe?” The SBOP response “yes.”
- “Is that the reason that the word ‘prescribe’ was stricken and replaced with dispense?” Again the answer was “yes.”
- “Can pharmacists legally, under statewide protocols, continue to prescribe independently, that is, no collaboration with a practitioner defined as a person authorized by law to prescribe, and dispense using their name as the practitioner in the labeling of the prescription drug dispensed until these rule changes are adopted or do they need to stop immediately?” The SBOP responded, that will be “up to the Board of Pharmacy.”
Since a ruling from the complete State Board of Pharmacy is pending, we note that it is up to the pharmacist to determine their individual risk.
Should any doubt arise as to the veracity of the law disallowing individual pharmacist prescribing at this time, note that the Colorado Pharmacists Society has acquired sponsors for, and is in process of drafting, legislation during the 2018 session to allow individual pharmacist prescribing. You may want to ask yourself “If prescribing is allowed, why do they need to run a bill to allow prescribing?”
To all our pharmacist friends in Colorado, we advise you to speak with an attorney and/or reconsider independent prescribing per the state-wide protocols set forth in SB16-135 noting that collaborative care agreements were a significant step forward to promote pharmacists as healthcare providers in Colorado.
As of this date, according to the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy, Colorado pharmacists are NOT allowed to independently prescribe based on rules implemented per SB16-135. Value Pharmacists maintains our position to educate pharmacists fully in understanding state laws, rules and regulations.