Pharmacy Access Coalition Urges Greater Access to Vaccines
PCAN encourages legislators to expand the types of vaccines that can be administered by pharmacists in order to increase access to critical, cost-effective and life-saving immunizations.
Harrisburg – In honor of World Immunization Week (April 24-30, 2013), Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN), a coalition of consumers, local businesses and pharmacists committed to preserving quality and affordable health care, is urging Pennsylvania legislators to increase access to critical, cost-effective and life-saving immunizations. Specifically, the coalition is encouraging them to expand the types of vaccines that can be administered by pharmacists.
“More than 50,000 adults and 300 children die from vaccine-preventable diseases or from their complications each year in the U.S. alone – I think we can do better than that,” said Bill Mincy, Vice President of Business Development at PPSC and PCAN Chair. “Expanding immunization authority for pharmacists is a sure way to increase access to vaccines and keep our communities healthy. I encourage state legislators to take a look at current laws and consider ways to achieve this.”
Current statute allows Pennsylvania pharmacists to administer immunizations to adults, but not children. Currently, bills are under consideration in the General Assembly to expand authorization for immunizations of children by pharmacists in an effort to improve convenience and access for parents and to increase immunization rates. PCAN supports these bills.
Expanding the types of vaccines that can be administered by pharmacists would provide greater access to vaccines and a greater vaccination rates among the population. There are more than 2,500 licensed pharmacists throughout the state who are ready and able to increase vaccination rates – with many in Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs) and Health Provider Shortage Areas (HSPAs) where oftentimes the local pharmacist is the most accessible and affordable health care provider.
“Vaccines are considered to be one of the safest, most efficient and cost-effective preventative measures against certain diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Mincy continued. “Expanding access is an important step toward improving the health and well-being of our children, our families and our communities.”
In honor of World Immunization Week, PCAN is reminding legislators that pharmacists are highly qualified, trusted health professionals who undergo extensive training and years of rigorous education to serve their patients – they are ready and willing to step up to the plate and help increase vaccination rates.
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Pharmacy Choice & Access NOW (PCAN) is a coalition of consumers, local business and pharmacists across the nation committed to preserving quality and affordable health care and pharmacy services for patients. PCAN members are committed to providing the most cost effective solutions in the areas of health care and pharmacy services to enable states around the country to help solve their budget woes while maintaining quality care for children, families and other Medicaid-served populations. You can Join the conversation on Facebook (Pharmacy Choice and Access Now) and Twitter (@RxPCAN)
For more information, please visit www.RxChoiceandAccess.com.
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