The Virginia Gastroenterological Society (VGS) is working in concert with the Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) to oppose a bill currently pending in the Virginia legislature that would permit pharmacists to test for medical conditions such as influenza, Strep throat, HIV, and H. pylori and treat patients who test positive. The VGS considers this legislation to be a violation of medical standards in the management of H. pylori.
As currently drafted, the bill does not specify how H. pylori infection will be diagnosed. If serology is permitted, this would not be sufficient to discriminate active infection. Further, treatment of a patient with a false positive H. pylori test in the absence of documented peptic disease is potentially harmful, incurring a risk of significant antibiotic complications with no demonstrable benefit.
The VGS leadership will be sending a letter (see below) to State Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, an OB/GYN from Henrico County, who is a co-sponsor of the bill. If you would like to contact Dr. Dunnavant to register comment about SB 1026, her contact information is found here:
Senate Office Phone number: 804-698-7512
SB 1026 Pharmacists; prescribing, dispensing, and administering of certain drugs and devices.
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Pharmacists; prescribing, dispensing, and administering of certain drugs and devices. Authorizes the prescribing, dispensing, and administering of certain drugs and devices by a pharmacist, provided that such pharmacist prescribes, dispenses, or administers such drugs and devices in accordance with a statewide protocol developed by the Board of Pharmacy in consultation with the Board of Medicine and set forth in regulations of the Board of Pharmacy. The bill clarifies that an accident and sickness insurance policy that provides reimbursement for a service that may be legally performed by a licensed pharmacist shall provide reimbursement for the prescribing, dispensing, or administering of drugs and devices by a pharmacist when such prescription, dispensation, or administration is in accordance with regulations of the Board of Pharmacy.
SB1026 Online: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+sum+SB1026