Pharmacists, Protect Your Patients! #StopSB716
Dear CSHP Leadership and the Honorable Dr. Ed Hernandez,
We are highly concerned with the existing language of CSHP-sponsored Senate Bill 716 (Hernandez) and believe the bill is a threat to patient safety.
Existing California law establishes the California Board of Pharmacy (the Board) composed of seven (7) pharmacists and six (6) members of the public. In its current form, SB 716 will add one (1) pharmacy technician member and one (1) additional member of the public to the Board. The CSHP-sponsored legislation will bring the overall Board member count to fifteen (15), effectively eliminating the existing pharmacist majority.
Loss of a pharmacist majority will not only compromise patient safety, but will also expose all California pharmacists to unfair regulatory risk by allowing individuals who do not have the same level of education and experience the ability to dictate the outcome of decisions that will directly impact the practice of pharmacy. While their voices are appreciated, and should be taken into consideration, the ultimate responsibility lies with the pharmacist.
Pharmacists complete a four-year post-graduate doctoral training program that includes clinical rotations, all of which prepares them for direct patient care. That, in addition to our first-hand pharmacy experience, knowledge of the complex healthcare field and having the patients’ best interests in mind, pharmacists are the best-positioned individuals to serve and protect the public as members of the Board. Pharmacists play an essential role on the health care team and are vital to improving patient outcomes and containing health care costs. We are strong proponents of advancing the profession of pharmacy, including by expanding the scope of practice of pharmacy technicians. However, passage of SB 716 in its current form will be a dis-service to the public and to the profession.
Additionally, passage of SB 716 in its current form will wrongfully discredit the profession in demonstrating that pharmacists cannot be trusted to act in their patients’ best interests nor to regulate their own profession. This is simply not true. The pharmacist members of the Board understand that their responsibility is to protect the public and as health care providers, they take that responsibility seriously. Ten other states have added pharmacy technician members on their respective pharmacy boards. We applaud this movement. However, not one of these states has sacrificed its pharmacist majority on the pharmacy regulatory board in the process of adding a pharmacy technician member (see image above).
The California Board of Pharmacy already has one of the most unfavorable pharmacist to non-pharmacist member ratios in the nation. We respectfully urge you to avoid worsening the situation by eliminating pharmacist majority altogether. In its current form, SB 716 does not represent the interests of health-system pharmacists and neither does it protect the patients they serve. We urge you to pull back this bill immediately as it is a threat to patient safety. It is not supported by the pharmacy profession.