Expansion of Authority for Pharmacists to Test/Vaccinate for COVID-19 – CA & MN Successes

Jun 02, 2020

Recently, the California Department of Consumer Affairs issued an Order to allow approximately 6,500 licensed pharmacies in the state to begin performing COVID19 tests without having to coordinate with a patient’s diagnosing or primary care provider. The Order waives sections of California’s Business and Professions Code that interfere with pharmacists’ ability to authorize tests for COVID 19, including a waiver of provisions that would prevent pharmacists from physically collecting the specimens. 

This Order follows a recent “call to action” that was sent out to Good Neighbor Pharmacies urging California independent pharmacists to contact Governor Newson and ask him to remove barriers to pharmacist testing in the state. ABC Government Affairs is pleased to highlight this positive development and would like to congratulate California pharmacists and pharmacy advocacy organizations and thank the Newsom administration for acting. The Department’s Order will increase access to patient care and aid California independent pharmacists in their efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Another notable and first in the nation win for pharmacists came as a result of the passage of MN SF 13 in the Minnesota Legislature. On May 27th 2020, Governor Walz signed this comprehensive Health and Human Services omnibus bill providing  pharmacists the authority to allow them to administer Food and Drug Administration-authorized COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to eligible individuals, when a vaccine becomes available.