ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today hailed a new law that will increase Pennsylvanians’ access to health care as the COVID-19 pandemic converges with the 2020-2021 flu season.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) on November 30 signed into law legislation (Act 140) sponsored by State Rep. Tony DeLuca (D) that allows pharmacists to order and perform CLIA-waived rapid-result tests for COVID-19 and point-of-care tests for flu and strep.
In addition, the law requires pharmacy technicians to be registered with the state and permits pharmacy technicians to conduct data entry remotely – including prescription entry, drug order or patient entry – an important step to help pharmacies operate efficiently and safely.
NACDS thanks the following state leaders, community pharmacy associations and schools and colleges of pharmacy for their important roles in advancing the bill, now law:
- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D)
- State Rep. Tony DeLuca (D)
- Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R)
- Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa
- State Senator Judy Ward, RN (R)
- Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R)
- Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton
- State Rep. Seth Grove (R)
- Pennsylvania Association of Chain Drug Stores (PACDS)
- Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA) and affiliates
- The seven Pennsylvania schools and colleges of pharmacy
“We appreciate Gov. Wolf, Rep. DeLuca and each of the legislators, pharmacy associations and schools and colleges of pharmacy that advocated for this new legislation which profoundly increases patient access to highly trained and educated pharmacists. More than 2,600 pharmacies are located throughout Pennsylvania – each providing safe, convenient access to various healthcare services in medically underserved, rural and urban neighborhoods across the state,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson. “Community pharmacies and pharmacists have an indispensable role when it comes to ensuring access to quality care. By enabling pharmacists to provide rapid-result COVID-19 testing, Gov. Wolf is opening additional and crucial access points throughout the state, reducing lab processing delays and helping Pennsylvanians get back to work.”
“Pharmacists serve on the frontlines and are well-suited to help mitigate the spread of disease by providing this type of rapid testing,” said Sen. Ward, RN, prime sponsor of both the Senate legislation and an amendment to HB 770. “The type of convenience and access this new law will bring will help so many people. The local pharmacist is a trusted healthcare professional who has a long-established relationship with their patients, with other healthcare professionals and within their communities.”
“I am proud to have sponsored this bill that will further reinforce patient safety, ensuring that both pharmacies and the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy have the oversight they need to properly train and monitor pharmacy technicians in a similar manner as with other healthcare practitioners,” said Rep. DeLuca.