New Legislation Would Expand Practice Powers for Pharmacists


The proposed legislation is intended to fill the gap in the number of physicians who are available to care for and treat the burgeoning amount patients in California. Whether as a result of Obama care &/or the growing population of older citizens, there is pressure on the government to broaden the scope of practice of licensees who historically were able to only perform a very specific set of actions, procedures and protocols consistent with their knowledge, skills and experience.

In California, there is a growing trend in passing  legislation that will expand the scope of practice of, including but not limited to, nurses, pharmacists, and optometrists in which physicians were the only practitioners permitted to do so.


New legislation would help fight prescription drug abuse

The abuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem.

Three bills, which still need to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown, will help to prosecute doctors who prescribe pills recklessly. One bill, for example, will require coroners to report death by overdoses on prescription drugs to the medical board, who then can connect those to doctors.

It is disturbing that medications that are supposed to help people are actually causing harm and leading to abuse and death. Doctors should not carelessly write prescriptions, and dangerous drugs should be monitored. Often, a physician seeks to help a patient, but may be seduced into believing the medication is warranted. One approach is to be certain to perform a painstaking history and physical, write smaller quantity prescriptions, and require frequent return visits to the office in order to follow up and be satisfied the medication is truly sound and indicated. Unfortunately, some patients go doctor shopping and get the same prescription from more than one physician. In California, the California Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is designed to reduce diversion of drugs without sacrificing appropriate patient care and legitimate medical practice. The CURES program or Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System is a record keeping system that provides a patient’s controlled substance history information to pharmacists, law enforcement and State licensing Boards to help prevent prescription abuse.


Doctor sues pharmacies for wrongful blacklisting

Dr. Roy H. Simon sued Target and Rite Aid, claiming that he was wrongfully blacklisted from their pharmacies.

He claims that they will not fill his patients’ prescriptions, and falsely told them that he is on a federal “watch list.”

Dr. Simon’s medical license was placed on probation in April of 2011, but the suspension was overturned by the Sacramento Superior Court in September of 2012. Thus, he says he was placed on this list in error.


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