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Albertsons piloted Idaho expanded prescribing before July 1 enactment

The start of the July also was the start of a new era for pharmacists in Idaho, where pharmacists gained expanded prescribing authority on July 1. Before it took effect, though, Albertsons pharmacies were given agency approval to pilot the new prescribing authority, which made it the first large retail chain pharmacy in the nation to offer these expanded services.

Under Pharmacist Prescriptive Authority Rule Docket 27-0104-1701, pharmacists can evaluate and prescribe medications for patients experiencing one of a specific list of common conditions, including cold sores and urinary tract infections. They also can assess and fill gaps in clinical care, for example recommending statins for patients with diabetes.

“We’re proud to pioneer this new and practical service for our patients who regularly interact with pharmacists about their symptoms related to these conditions,” said Mark Panzer, Albertsons senior vice president of pharmacy health and wellness. “Now we can provide them with the treatment they need by offering easy access to quality healthcare services, in a convenient location, for conditions that often require urgent care.”

Currently, more than 30 Albertsons locations in the Gem State are offering expanded prescribing services, seeing patients on both a walk-in and appointment basis. Patients will be counseled privately by the pharmacist, who will help them fill out an intake form, perform a health screening and determine an appropriate prescription, if necessary. They also will notify the patient’s primary care physician and schedule a follow-up with the patient to evaluate how the medication is working. Pharmacists will work with a patient’s physician and insurance company to ensure timely and cost-effective care.

“Community pharmacists are already well positioned to provide patients with the comprehensive care allowed for by this new law,” said Pam Eaton, executive director of the Idaho Pharmacists Association As the medication experts and an accessible resource for the public, this is an exciting time for pharmacists to demonstrate they are capable and knowledgeable to perform these services in a time when access to care can be limited, especially in rural areas.”
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