On June 7, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a law that shields healthcare providers from losing their licenses when prescribing ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine. This stipulation was included in a new bill, HB 2149, dealing with professional licensing regulations. Under HB 2149, physicians are protected and pharmacists cannot contact prescribing physicians to dispute the efficacy of the medications, “unless the physician or patient inquires of the pharmacist.” This provision of HB 2149 go into effect on August 28.
The Missouri House of Representatives is currently considering a bill to help fight the state’s ongoing opioid crisis. HB 2603 would allow pharmacists to sell and distribute naltrexone hydrochloride, a drug that helps stem the desire to use opioids or related substances and stave off relapse. HB 2603 builds on a 2016 bill that allows pharmacists to sell Narcan. Naltrexone aims to prevent opioid use altogether and mitigate the need for drugs like Narcan. HB 2603 passed committee in a 12-0 vote and continues on in the House for further consideration.
The Missouri House of Representatives is currently considering a new bill to open up vaccination authority for pharmacists in the state. HB 2452 would allow pharmacists to administer FDA-approved and ACIP-recommended vaccines to individuals 7 years and older, continuing authority granted under the COVID-19 PREP Act. Among other things, HB 2452 would authorize pharmacists to order and administer vaccines in state-declared public emergencies, as well as provide medication therapy services after completing the proper training. The bill awaits its next hearing in the House.
Missouri legislature has passed House Bill 476 into law, ending requirements for a doctor's prescription in order to receive HIV post-exposure drugs. Pharmacists can dispense this time-sensitive drug without a prescription, making it easier and quicker for patients to get the drug after being exposed to HIV. Missouri is leading the way in HIV prevention and awareness, becoming the 3rd state in the US to pass a bill like HB 476.