Newly enacted pharmacy legislation allows for health care advances

Officials with the School of Pharmacy say legislation adopted  by the 2013 West Virginia Legislature and signed into law by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin paves the way for new educational opportunities and also modernizes pharmacy practice in the state.

Brian A. Gallagher, director of pharmacy services at the school, said the legislation expands collaborative practice between pharmacists and physicians and replaces outdated policy from the 1990s.

Gallagher says under the new law pharmacists will be able to partner with physicians to provide specific patient care functions under certain conditions and limitations.

Dr. Kevin W. Yingling, dean of the School of Pharmacy, applauded the efforts of lawmakers for revamping the decades-old pharmacy act which, he says, now allows for enhanced  patient care outcomes through medication therapy management by pharmacists and for broader experiential opportunities for pharmacy students.

“The modernization of the pharmacy practice act moves West Virginia forward in pharmacy education and ultimately means better and more accessible health care for patients,” Yingling said.  “I commend the West Virginia Legislature, in particular Delegate Don C. Perdue and Senator Ron D. Stollings, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for their dedication to shepherding this much-needed initiative into law.”

The Larry W. Border Pharmacy Practice Act is named in memory of longtime delegate and pharmacist Larry W. Border, who passed away in 2011.  “This particular legislation had been in process for three years,” Perdue said. “The assistance of Dean  Yingling, the folks at the Marshall University School of Pharmacy and pharmacy professionals across the state were critical in getting a version passed that was appealing to both professionals and the public.”

Stollings agreed, saying, “The work of Dr. Yingling and others at Marshall certainly helped facilitate the passage of this much-needed update to the Pharmacy Practice Act.  Health care of the future is all about teamwork and the new law provides a framework for that collaboration to occur.”

The new law took  effect July 1.