NASPA Supports Washington Pharmacists’ Collaborative Practice Authority

On August 9, 2018, the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, along with the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), submitted a joint letter to the Washington State attorney general’s office this week in response to questions related to Washington’s collaborative drug therapy agreement (CDTA) laws.  The Washington Medical Commission asked the attorney general to issue a formal opinion on whether “initiating or modifying of drug therapy in accordance with written guidelines or protocols” includes diagnosing a patient’s condition.  NASPA and NCPA argue that Washington State pharmacists who prescribe pursuant to a CDTA, must do so in accordance with the terms of the CDTA. If a prescriber includes diagnosing activities in the guidelines or protocols of the CDTA, then pharmacists may diagnose within the terms of the agreement. Of note, no evidence of patient harm as the result of services provided under a CDTA were identified.

Collaborative drug therapy agreements (CDTA), or collaborate practice agreements (CPA) as they are more commonly known in other states, originated in Washington in 1979.  Currently, 48 states and the District of Columbia allow some type of pharmacist-prescriber collaborative practice authority.  When used to their full potential, CPAs can increase access to care, expand available services to patients, increase the efficiency and coordination of care, and leverage pharmacists’ medication expertise to complement the skills and knowledge of the other health care team members.

Read the Letter

Related: Collaborative Practice Agreements: Resources and More