Harris’ bill receives hearing in Senate committee

By Lucas Wiseman
The Columbian/Murrow News Service

OLYMPIA– Pharmacists may soon be added to the Legend Drug Act, thanks to a bill by Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver.

House Bill 1182 creates a “technical change” Harris said, and allows pharmacists to prescribe drugs when working under a collaborative drug therapy agreement.

The bill, which has passed out of the House, was heard in the Senate Healthcare Committee Tuesday morning. Harris said he submitted the same bill last year, but it was killed by the very same committee.

Under the bill, pharmacists would have to be authorized by a doctor or other licensed practitioner in order to prescribe drugs.

“(The bill) adds to the collaborative effort of drug therapy,” Harris said.

The Legend Drug Act, which supervises drug use and distribution in the state, did not define pharmacists as individuals that can prescribe medication, though they are allowed to under federal law.

Individuals who can prescribe medication are medical doctors, nurses, dentists and eye doctors.

Harris said his bill is simple and makes a technical change to allow pharmacists to be added to that list, but only when working in conjunction with the other, licensed individuals.

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