A new bill in Florida could authorize pharmacists to test and treat patients for flu and strep throat. HB 389, approved by a House panel this week, aims to increase patient access to care and allow pharmacists to perform rapid diagnostic tests for both flu and strep.
“The important thing is that it gives the consumer an opportunity to say, ‘I’m not feeling very well. Where can I go to get at least an assessment to know what’s going on.’ And then, if we make a determination that we think you have the flu based upon the results of this very accurate test, the patient then has a choice: Either accept some care that we can provide as a pharmacist, that we are qualified to provide and trained for, or referral back to their primary care physicians or to an emergency room, which would be a little be more expensive type of care that could be given,” Michael Jackson, EVP & CEO of the Florida Pharmacy Association said. “But it gives, at least, a patient an opportunity to have a decision.”
A similar bill passed the House last year, but died in the Senate.