Policy & Position Statements
KPhA policy is determined through our House of Delegates procedures. The House of Delegates meets annually at the KPhA Annual Meeting and the KPhA Fall Conference, at the discretion of the Board of Directors and the Speaker of the House and by vote from delegates if necessary.
A searchable KPhA Policy Manual is available online for members only. Outside entities should contact Angela Gibson for a copy of the entire Policy Manual or Ben Mudd for a position statement on a given topic.
KPhA Position Statements on Current Events
KPhA Opposes Senate Bill 170: Protect Patient Access to Safe and Quality CareIn 2017 the Kentucky Legislature codified in statute the authority of the KY Board of Pharmacy to promulgate regulations for board-authorized protocols. Over the past five years, pharmacists have utilized these protocols to provide safe and quality care to both improve public health and provide timely access to basic care. Physicians and advanced practice registered nurses have worked collaboratively with pharmacists to expand access to care and make Kentucky healthier. Senate Bill 170 would be an enormous step backward for patients and public health in the Commonwealth and would directly harm our most vulnerable communities.
- In 59 counties across Kentucky, pharmacists are working collaboratively with physicians and advanced practice registered nurses to improve patient health with 154 unique protocols.
- Physicians and advanced registered nurses understand the need for these services and are working with pharmacists to ensure patients are receiving safe and quality care and that protocols are not misused.
- The use of board-authorized protocols helps improve patient and public health through the treatment of opioid use disorder, testing and treatment of COVID-19, flu, and strep, and helping to screen patients for colorectal cancer.
- No complaints have been received by the Board of Pharmacy from patients or practitioners since 2017.
- Protocols follow current clinical guidelines and are highly detailed, providing step-by-step instructions for pharmacists to follow when providing care.
- Pharmacists must be familiar with current clinical guidelines prior to providing care.
- Healthcare practitioners can make board-approved protocols more restrictive to ensure that patients are receiving safe and quality care
- 110 counties in Kentucky are designated as primary care shortage areas by HRSA.
- 90% of Americans live within 5 miles of a pharmacy which often has extended hours that allow patients to receive quality treatment for their needs without going to the Emergency Department
- Pharmacists are vital to ensuring timely access to care and helping to decrease the burden on our healthcare system.
- Over 42 million COVID tests were conducted at pharmacies nationwide during the pandemic.
- Pharmacies provided lifesaving treatment during the COVID pandemic to some of the most vulnerable populations during the pandemic.
- Pharmacist-driven care saved an estimated $450 billion in healthcare costs during the pandemic.
- Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare providers who have a long-standing history of collaboration with other healthcare practitioners in Kentucky.
- Regulations require that protocols must be signed by a collaborating physician or APRN before being utilized.
- Pharmacists are required to report any care provided to the patient’s primary care provider if they have one.
- Pharmacists regularly refer patients to primary care providers if they do not meet inclusion criteria for protocol-driven care or when patients report they do not have a primary care provider.
KPhA Opposes Senate Bill 95: Prioritize Public Safety Over Corporate Profit
The Kentucky Board of Pharmacy is charged with promoting, preserving, and protecting public health, safety, and welfare through the effective regulation of the practice of pharmacy. Senate Bill 95 would restructure the Board of Pharmacy to put corporate special interests over public safety through an unnecessarily complex set of restrictions on appointments. Board members would no longer be chosen based on their merit but by arbitrary characteristics that prevent experienced and interested pharmacists from serving. Senate Bill 95, if signed into law, will directly harm the citizens of Kentucky by prioritizing special interests over the health, safety, and welfare of Kentuckians.
- Senate Bill 95 would prevent the profession's most qualified and experienced members of the profession from being appointed to serve the economic interests of a small group of corporations.
- Senate Bill 95 would endanger effective oversight of pharmacy practice by allowing an executive director with no knowledge of pharmacy practice to be hired.
- Senate Bill 95 prioritizes special interests over public safety by diluting the power of the citizen member while introducing unnecessary restrictions for the qualification of appointees.
- By mandating pharmacists from certain practicing settings, Senate Bill 95 focuses more on the economic interests of a select group of corporate entities rather than ensuring the most qualified and experienced members are appointed.
- Additionally, by mandating some rare or very specific practice settings over more common ones, only a select few corporate entities would be able to fulfill the requirement.
- The practice setting requirements would make the Board less representative of the pharmacy practice and exclude well-qualified pharmacists from multiple practice settings from being eligible to participate.
- The bill would allow anyone to serve as executive director of the Board of Pharmacy, including individuals who have no experience with the practice of pharmacy, removing an important resource for the Board of Pharmacy to effectively protect the public.
- The inclusion of the arbitrary requirement that a pharmacist desiring to be an executive director must have an inactive license would place an undue burden on any pharmacist who does not wish to remain in the role until retirement and discourage applications of qualified pharmacists.
- The Board of Pharmacy is dedicated to protecting and promoting the public, NOT the profession of pharmacy. Yet, Senate Bill 95 would double the number of pharmacy members, leaving only one citizen member.
- The bill mandates “proportional” political representation introducing a partisan element to a nonpartisan institution.
- The bill mandates equal representation of the 2 sexes but is not reflective of the demographic makeup of pharmacists in the state.
You may recall House Bill 457, sponsored by then Representative Steve Sheldon, from the 2022 general assembly that focused on Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) Reform. Although HB457 passed the House with an 88-3 vote, the bill was not brought to the Senate floor. Thankfully, companion bills addressing PBM reform have been filed in both chambers this year. Senator Douglas' Senate Bill 149 and Representative Bentley's House Bill 350 contain much of the same language as HB 457; however, they focus primarily on the anti-patient steering components of the previous legislation. SB 149 and HB 350 would be a huge win for patient choice and is a first step to comprehensive PBM reform.
- Eliminating mandatory mail-order will allow patients to have the choice in where they would like to receive their prescriptions and would allow patients to continue to visit their trusted pharmacist for the management of their medications.
- Prohibiting PBMs from steering patients to affiliated pharmacies, including specialty pharmacies, will reduce patient's healthcare costs and allow for patient choice.
- SB 149 and HB 350 prohibit white-bagging, a term used to describe the distribution of patient-specific medications from a pharmacy to the physician's office, hospital, or clinic for administration, and is frequently used to further dictate the pharmacy a patient must use and consequently bypasses safety checks and limits a patient's choice to work with their desired healthcare team.
- A patient deserves to choose and know where their prescription medications are filled.
- A patient's relationship with their pharmacist should not be compromised for profit.
- Patients with complex medication regimens frequently rely on the help of their pharmacist and pharmacy staff to manage their refills and timely access to their medications.
- While a pharmacist from a mail-order facility is available to speak with a patient, the patient may never speak to the same pharmacist twice and will not have the opportunity to develop a direct relationship with that pharmacist.
- Patients are being charged higher copays for not using a pharmacy that is affiliated with their insurance company and/or the PBM of their insurance company.
- This is increasing the overall cost of healthcare and
- Patients' medications are being transferred to the affiliated preferred pharmacy without the patient's knowledge leading to confusion and increased opportunity for adverse medication errors (i.e., a patient's medication falling off their medication list, medication duplications, etc.)
- The healthcare provider administering the medication has minimal assurance in the storage and stability of the medication to be administered.
- Safety checks of the distributing pharmacy are unknown to the administering health care team and could be different than their standards, compromising patient safety.
KPhA Policy Position on Medical Marijuana
KPhA neither endorses nor opposes legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly related to the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Instead, KPhA has adopted the following policy position. KPhA supports regulatory changes to facilitate clinical research related to the clinical efficacy and safety associated with the use of cannabis and its various components. Also, KPhA will support pharmacist participation in furnishing cannabis and its various components for medical purposes, including reviewing a patient's complete medication regimen, pursuant to an order from a state-approved qualified and licensed provider if and when, federal, state, or territory laws or regulations permit them to do so. KPhA supports oversight of dispensaries by the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy and advocates cannabis furnishing activities transpire within a licensed dispensary, not a licensed pharmacy. KPhA opposes pharmacist involvement in furnishing cannabis and its various components for recreational use.