The AACU is tracking a number of bills this year related to the expansion of pharmacist scope of practice. Specifically, we are concerned about legislation in several states expanding scope of practice to allow for pharmacists to test, screen and treat a number of health conditions including urinary tract infections. The AACU believes that when it comes to testing and treating patients with UTI, physicians possess the appropriate knowledge from their extensive training and experience to do so, as well as the tools to responsibly prescribe antibiotics only when appropriate without adding to the ongoing issue of resistance. Many of these bills have no guardrails in place for patients with recurring UTI who may repeatedly visit a pharmacist for treatment or who present with similar symptoms that are not UTI-related, nor do they always provide for appropriate antibiotic resistance stewardship.
On Friday, January 27, the AACU, in partnership with AUA, submitted written comments and testified in opposition to SB 92 on behalf of our membership at a New Mexico Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee Hearing. The committee debated the bill extensively, and it passed out of committee with a 5-4 vote. Currently, the bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the AACU will continue to follow its progress and participate in committee hearings and outreach to legislators. We are hopeful that moving forward, the bill will be significantly amended in partnership with the New Mexico Medical Society.
Many thanks to Dr. Damara Kaplan, AACU Immediate Past President and practicing New Mexico urologist, for serving as our AACU advocate and for this legislative effort. The committee hearing lasted more than four hours into Friday evening, and Jennifer Stevens, AACU executive director (pictured), provided testimony on AACU and Dr. Kaplan’s behalf.