On June 2, 2015 Governor Nikki Haley signed into law the scripts immunization expansion bill (S. 413), giving state pharmacists new opportunities to offer more vaccinations to more people.
The legislation, introduced on February 4 by Sen. Ray Cleary (R-Georgetown), results in three changes to pharmacy practice law:
- An inter-professional committee will decide what vaccines pharmacists can administer without a prescription
- Pharmacy students can administer vaccines provided they are certified and are directly supervised by a pharmacist
- Pharmacists can administer flu vaccine to patients down to the age of 12 years without a prescription
The full bill can be found here.
Patti Fabel, president and chairman of the board of the South Carolina Pharmacy Association (SCPhA), sees the bill’s adoption as a boon to both patients and pharmacists.
“This bill will give greater and more convenient access for patients to get the immunizations they need,” said Fabel, an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy and outcomes sciences at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP). “The leadership shown here by our legislators and the governor, along with the hard work of many members of the South Carolina Pharmacy Association, will benefit everybody.”
The SCPhA has been a strong advocate of the bill since its introduction, along with the South Carolina Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SCSHP). Many SCPhA members, SCSHP members, and SCCP students and faculty advocated for the bill during Pharmacy Day during the past legislative session.
The bill was sponsored by Sens. Cleary, Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence), Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson), Kevin Johnson (D-Clarendon), Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley), Harvey Peeler, Jr. (R-Cherokee), Michael Fair (R-Greenville), and Katrina Frye Shealy (R-Lexington).
The bill amends the section of the code of laws of South Carolina relating to protocol for pharmacists to administer influenza vaccines and certain medications without order of a practitioner (40-43-190); and amends the section of the code of laws relating to the joint pharmacist administered influenza vaccines committee (40-43-200).