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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Professional groups propose amendments to Pharmacy Law

Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago

By The Star Staff

Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago met with various interest groups on Tuesday to reach a consensus on Senate Bill 258, which would amend the Pharmacy Law, so lawmakers can approve the measure in the August session.

Senate Bill 258 would facilitate the transmission of prescriptions, allow the pharmacist’s participation in the clinical interpretation of pharmacotherapy in certain circumstances, and facilitate communication between pharmacies that decide to share databases, among other related purposes.

Attending the meeting were officials from the Department of Health, the Clinical Laboratories Association, the Medical Technologists Association and the Pharmacists Association of Puerto Rico. They made proposals to reach a consensus allowing the bill’s approval in August.

“As part of our priorities in the Senate, we will be working on the necessary amendments so that this bill has the support of all sectors,” Dalmau Santiago said. “Today’s meeting has been very productive, and we have listened to the proposals of each group to improve the legislation and achieve the common goal of benefiting patients.”

Senate Bill 258 will go to a conference committee so both chambers can amend it.

In public hearings, Elda Sierra, a former president of Coopharma, noted that her concern with the bill has to do with the figure of a “virtual pharmacist.” She emphasized the importance of pharmacy technologists always being supervised to avoid errors in the dispensing of drugs.

The Medical Technologists Association, meanwhile, opposes the measure for, among other things, its understanding that it violates Regulation 120, which regulates the establishment and operation of clinical laboratories, and Act 167, which regulates medical technologists. The bill would allow pharmacists to conduct specific tests.

The Department of Health said pharmacies should only accept prescriptions via WhatsApp in emergencies.

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