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06/24/2021

NACDS praises Iowa legislative victories enhancing patient care

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is praising three legislative victories in Iowa that empower pharmacists to focus their time on patients and clinical care, and extend Iowans’ access to routine vaccinations and point-of-care testing.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is hailing three important victories for enhanced patient care in the state of Iowa.

NACDS praised HF 514, which was signed into law on April 30. Among other provisions, HF 514 eliminates the one-year limitation of a technician trainee registration, and allows pharmacists to delegate any technical functions to pharmacy technicians and any nontechnical functions to pharmacy support personnel so long as the pharmacist “is available to provide professional oversight of the delegated functions.” Such models improve patient care by leveraging the skills of pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support personnel, and focusing pharmacist time on interventions requiring their clinical expertise, NACDS said.

The second law, SF 296, which was signed into law by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on May 19, expanded patients’ access to critical immunizations and point-of-care testing. The new law authorizes pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 immunizations or vaccinations to adults according to statewide protocols. Additionally, the measure permits Iowa pharmacists the ability to test and treat influenza, strep and COVID-19, and to enter into collaborative practice agreements with other healthcare providers.

The third victory NACDS hailed is the governor’s action to amend current Medicaid managed care contracts in the state.

NACDS and the Iowa Retail Federation previously urged Gov. Reynolds to reject portions of the Iowa Medicaid agency’s appropriations bill that would threaten the viability of certain community retail pharmacies operating inside the state, as well as the health and wellness of the patients they serve. In response to NACDS’ and IRF’s letter on June 16, Gov. Reynolds directed the Department of Human Services to amend current Medicaid managed care contracts to authorize a $10.38 dispensing fee per prescription for all pharmacies regardless of a pharmacy’s headquarters location and size within the state. In her letter to the agency, Reynolds cited NACDS’ and IRF’s arguments that “the policy raises significant [U.S.] constitutional concerns regarding the regulation of interstate commerce and discrimination against out-of-state businesses.”

“NACDS thanks Governor Reynolds and the Iowa General Assembly for taking important actions to help optimize patient care, maximize Iowans’ access to the quality healthcare services provided by pharmacies and pharmacy teams, and ensure pharmacies’ doors stay open to serve the patients who need it most,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “NACDS also appreciates the strong support of the Iowa Retail Federation, the Iowa Pharmacy Association and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, and their continued efforts to advance legislation that directly benefits patients’ well-being. More than 500 NACDS member pharmacies are located in Iowa — each providing communities throughout the state with convenient access to myriad healthcare services.”

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