Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Nashville, Tenn. — May 6, 2024  On May 1, Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 869 / House Bill 282 into law as Public Chapter 824. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Shane Reeves and Representative Charlie Baum, the many legislators who supported the bill, and the grassroots advocacy of hundreds of Tennessee Pharmacists Association (TPA) members, this legislation will improve efficiencies in the health care system by providing pharmacists with independent prescriptive authority for various medication classes and disease states.

On March 28, the Senate bill passed with a 29-0 vote in the House. On April 16, the House passed an amended version on a 93-3 vote, which passed swiftly in the Senate on April 17. Following a letter from TPA, cosigned by national organization partners, the Governor signed the bill into law. Given the impact on the health of Tennesseans, the law takes effect immediately.

During the legislative process, TPA communicated with physician groups, specifically the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA). With active dialogue and collaboration, TMA supported TPA’s efforts in scope expansion, unlike the rhetoric seen nationally by the American Medical Association. This support results from the longstanding collaborative relationships between Tennessee pharmacists and physicians.

This law adds to the definition of pharmacy practice, meaning pharmacists are not obligated to adjust their practices unless they choose to do so. By allowing independent prescriptive authority that follows a standard of care for patients, the law removes some administrative obstacles for pharmacists who want to provide approved patient care services.

Summary points of the law include:

  • Pharmacists shall follow FDA product approval guidance or CDC guidelines when applicable
  • The pharmacist may now be the prescriber of record when dispensing this specific list of drug classes or disease states:
    • Antivirals for influenza and COVID-19 only upon the positive results of a CLIA-waived test
    • All immunizations for patients 18 years and older
    • Influenza and COVID-19 immunizations for patients three (3) to 17 years old
    • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for non-occupational exposure to HIV infection AND the ordering of lab tests for such therapy (e.g., HIV test, liver function)
    • Epinephrine auto-injectors for patients with history of allergies or anaphylactic reactions
    • Progesterone-only hormonal contraceptives
    • Naloxone
    • Topical fluoride agents (e.g., varnish, toothpaste, mouthwash) when following ADA guidelines in areas where drinking water has fluoride content below U.S. HHS recommendations
    • Tuberculin purified protein derivative products (Tb testing)
  • Role of the Board of Pharmacy
    • There is no recommendation in the legislation for the Board of Pharmacy (or in collaboration with the Board of Medical Examiners/Board of Osteopathic Examination) to create or adopt any specific rules to enact the law.

TPA will remain in close communication with the Board of Pharmacy regarding pharmacists’ incorporation of this standard of care and what it may mean for board inspectors.

Over the next several months, TPA will provide additional tools, resources, and education to pharmacists looking to improve access to pharmacist-provided care. In addition, TPA will communicate with key stakeholders to ensure that the law is properly implemented across the state.

 

Tennessee PharmPAC and TPA General Advocacy Fund

Legislative victories do not happen without hard work, determination, and financial support. TPA needs your support of the PharmPAC or the General Advocacy Fund.

The PharmPAC’s primary purpose is to provide financial assistance to candidates for public office who support the profession of pharmacy and recognize the value of quality care and services.

The General Advocacy Fund allows for contributions to TPA’s overall advocacy strategy and activities, including our Pharmacy Day on the Hill programming, contract lobbyists, and marketing and advocacy tools.

 

About The Tennessee Pharmacists Association

The Tennessee Pharmacists Association represents the profession of pharmacy across the state, united for the purpose of promoting safe and effective medication use to improve the health of patients. Since 1886, the Tennessee Pharmacists Association has preserved and advanced the interests of the profession and has served the professional needs of all pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For more information, please visit tnpharm.org.