Dear Maryland PAs,
MAPA needs your support for upcoming hearings related to MAPA-sponsored legislation that would allow PAs to dispense medications under certain conditions. NPs have had this ability for several years, and it has been reported that PAs are losing jobs to NPs because of this inequity in our practice statutes. The bigger issue is access to care for many Marylanders who cannot afford prescription medications, are home-bound and/or have little access to commercial pharmacies. It is important that we not only prescribe medications, which we have been doing safely for years, but also that our patients have the ability to adhere to prescriptive regimens to manage their medical conditions. We are not asking to start our own pharmacies. This would be a delegated duty as determined by our collaborating physicians, and it would require adherence to currently existing statutes governing facilities that have dispensing licenses.
Even if these bills do not affect you directly, I ask that you take a few minutes to write a letter to the House and Senate Committee members that will be hearing these bills on 3/8 (House) and 3/9 (Senate) prior to the hearings. Additionally, please contact your district legislators to encourage them to also vote in favor of these bills once they exit the committee hearings and go to the “floor” for voting by all House and Senate representatives.
Some important facts:
• PAs have been legally writing prescriptions for nearly 20 years
• PAs work very closely with their collaborating physicians – the team approach improves outcomes
• PAs are required to demonstrate at least 8 hours of pharmacologic continuing education requirements for each licensing renewal period as a prerequisite for prescriptive privilege
• Community outreach is critical to improving the health of Marylanders, and PAs are part of the solution
• Maryland has significant underserved populations that would benefit from non-profit healthcare groups’ employment of PAs willing to work in these areas
• Dispensing medications is NOT FOR PROFIT
Please, advocate for your profession, for your colleagues that are affected by these bills, and for our patients! Simply draft a letter referencing this content, urge the legislators to vote “IN FAVOR” of SB 848/HB 1124, and email it to the committee members before the hearings next week!
I thank you for your continued support of MAPA’s legislative efforts!
Director of Legislative Affairs, MAPA