Frontier Institute Statement In Support Of SB 112

Frontier Institute Statement In Support Of SB 112

Legislation will expand the ability of pharmacists to help address health care shortages

HELENA (Jan. 18, 2021) – Today the Frontier Institute offered support for SB 112, a bill to allow Montana pharmacists to prescribe minor medications to patients. 

SB 112 follows Frontier Institute’s recommendations to address Montana’s healthcare shortages by authorizing pharmacists to independently prescribe routine medications to patients. This reform has been adopted by Idaho since 2019 and has been shown to dramatically increase access to time sensitive prescriptions like insulin and albuterol inhalers, especially in rural areas that don’t have a local doctor. 

“Allowing pharmacists to prescribe minor medications will help fill the access gaps in Montana’s healthcare system,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO of the Frontier Institute. “SB 112 will help ensure that Montana patients in underserved areas get the care they need, when they need it.”

Frontier Institute has promoted extensive research showing:

  • Many rural Montana counties have no local primary care physician. There is, however, often a community pharmacy in rural towns.
  • Leveraging pharmacists’ extensive knowledge and skillset with pharmaceutical drugs, states have begun to allow pharmacists to prescribe medications commensurate with their training. Montana already allows pharmacists to independently prescribe and administer vaccinations. 
  • In 2019, Idaho authorized pharmacists to safely prescribe medications for minor, non-emergency ailments that do not require a new diagnosis and can be identified with a low-risk test, such as the flu or strep throat.

Idaho’s reforms have led to significant increase in access to time sensitive prescriptions like albuterol inhalers and insulin pens, helping prevent costly emergency room visits.

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