TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the enactment of a new law – House Bill 389 – Florida has undertaken important public health efforts to enhance the convenience and accessibility of testing for common infectious diseases and appropriate treatment, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) said Friday.
As a forward-leaning effort to help ensure the health and welfare of Floridians, this new law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on March 11, 2020, allows pharmacists to test and initiate treatment for influenza and Group A Streptococcus. The bill will improve convenient access to quality care while removing avoidable pressures on hospitals and acute settings – a meaningful benefit at all times, and a benefit that is top-of-mind amid demanding public health situations ranging from flu outbreaks to the current coronavirus concerns.
NACDS also praised the collaborative efforts of pharmacists and student pharmacists, medical and pharmacy organizations, and schools of pharmacy to express support for protecting patients against vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Given the importance of enhanced delivery of quality healthcare, Floridians have gained increased access to high-quality, convenient and affordable care from pharmacists in communities across the state,’ said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson.
NACDS recognized the legislative leadership of the bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Tyler Sirois (R); the Senate companion bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Travis Hutson (R); Vice Chair, House Health & Human Services Committee, Rep. Cary Pigman (R); and Speaker of the House Jose Oliva (R).
NACDS also acknowledged the leadership of the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Pharmacy Association, and diverse NACDS member companies.
Florida joins 16 other states currently allowing pharmacists to offer this valuable service and several additional states where similar efforts are underway.