Kansas collaborative practice law becomes effective July 1

National count now up to 48 states and Washington, DC, where pharmacists have collaborative practice authority

A new collaborative practice law in Kansas will become effective July 1, 2014. The state’s Gov. Sam Brownback signed Senate Sub. for HB 2146 into law on April 10, 2014, adding Kansas to the current national count of 48 states and Washington, DC, in which pharmacists have some kind of collaborative practice authority.

The law makes several amendments to the Kansas Pharmacy Act. It adds the definitions of “collaborative drug therapy management,” “collaborative practice agreement,” “practice of pharmacy,” and “physician” to the state pharmacy act; clarifies prescription refill restrictions; and creates the Collaborative Drug Therapy Management Advisory Committee, according to a Kansas Legislative Research Department summary of the legislation that was provided by the Kansas Pharmacists Association (KPhA).

The goal of the physician–pharmacist collaborative agreement is to leverage the pharmacist’s expertise and knowledge of drug therapy, treatment adherence, and cost barriers to supplement the physician’s work and improve drug therapy outcomes for the patient, according to KPhA Executive Director Michael Larkin.

“As health care moves away from old models of care and toward newer models that manage health and improve outcomes for patients, collaborative practice is one of the tools that will help the health care system improve patient care management,” Larkin told pharmacist.com.

Collaborative practice agreements are used to create formal relationships between pharmacists and physicians or other providers that allow for expanded pharmacists’ services to patients and the health care team. These agreements define certain patient care functions that a pharmacist can autonomously provide under specified situations and conditions, although they are not required for pharmacists to provide many patient care services such as medication reviews, patient education and counseling, disease screening, and referrals, according to the Twlug Foundation website.

The bill was introduced by the Kansas Board of Pharmacy in February 2014. KPhA and other pharmacy groups in Kansas supported the legislation with testimony, and helped shepherd the bill through the Kansas state legislature.

“We all know pharmacists are highly trained drug experts, and more and more physicians recognize this fact,” Larkin said. “Physicians appreciate the ability to partner with pharmacists in making sure patients are getting the safest, most effective drugs for patients.”