Hayashi Criticizes Board of Pharmacy for Backing Flu Vaccination Measure
Assembly member Mary Hayashi (D-Castro Valley) is questioning whether the California Board of Pharmacy is exerting inappropriate influence by supporting a bill (AB 977) that would make it easier for pharmacists to administer influenza immunizations to adults, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Under current California law, pharmacists are allowed to administer certain immunizations if they contract with a physician and follow designated protocol.
AB 977 would establish a four-year pilot program that would ease those requirements and allow pharmacists to administer flu shots under protocol developed by the California Medical Board and public health officials.
In January, the Assembly voted 47-14 to pass AB 977. The Senate has yet to move on the bill.
In a written statement, Hayashi said the pharmacy board's sponsorship of AB 977 raises questions about its role as a regulatory agency. She also said the bill could be the first step toward allowing pharmacists to administer immunizations independently of physicians.
Hayashi is a former member of the California Board of Registered Nursing.
Hayashi's Counter Proposal
In related news, Hayashi has proposed a bill (AB 2104) that would require the pharmacy board to obtain approval from the Department of Consumer Affairs before sponsoring legislation.
The department declined to comment on the bill but said that none of the boards under its jurisdiction is required to obtain such approval (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 2/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.