PUBLISHED: May 17, 2011
Senate OKs bill allowing pharmacists to administer routine injections
The State Column | Link to article
For the past four years, registered pharmacists in Rhode Island have been allowed by law to administer routine injections to their adult customers.
The Senate today approved legislation to allow pharmacists to begin administering injections to younger Rhode Islanders, those between the ages of 9 and 18, with proper parental consent.
The bill, (2011-S0480A), was introduced by Sen. William A. Walaska (D-Dist. 30, Warwick), who sponsored the 2007 bill that made Rhode Island the 45th state to allow injections to be administered by registered pharmacists.
Although it was an encephalitis outbreak that ran through schools in Warwick and other communities that prompted the 2007 legislation, Senator Walaska said that his intent in introducing the bill this year is the same as it was four years ago, to "ensure that people who need injectable medication have a convenient place to get it taken care of. I am concerned that certain populations - the young as well as the elderly - may not be getting the medication they need because it is difficult for them to get to a doctor's office. Offering the injections at neighborhood pharmacies should make it much easier for parents to be sure their children receive the immunizations they need."
The legislation will require parental consent for pharmacy inoculation for all individuals under the age of 18 and will require the pharmacies to report to the Department of Health about all immunizations administered to individuals 9 and older.
Senator Walaska said he expects parents to feel comfortable allowing their children to receive injections at pharmacies because registered pharmacists are properly trained to administer injections by virtue of a requirement that they complete a course developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Walaska bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Identical legislation has been introduced in the House; that bill, (2011-H5211), is currently before the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare and was sponsored by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), who sponsored the bill that led to the 2007 law.