TRENTON, NJ – Two bills designed to help ease healthcare delivery by allowing pharmacy interns and externs to administer vaccines and injectable medications while gaining, under supervision, critical hands-on training, advanced in the Assembly Monday.
The combined bills (A-342, A-343) would allow pharmacy interns and externs to administer vaccines, injectable medications, biologicals and immunizations to patients by injectable or needle free delivery methods, but only under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
“While these bills look to provide more options for patients needing vaccines and immunizations, they do not compromise the necessary education needed to administer them,” said the bills’ sponsor, Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “Pharmacy interns and externs would need to meet the same requirements as pharmacists to administer them, specifically, being educated and qualified as determined by the Board of Medical Examiners.”
The first bill (A-342) was introduced in January and referred to the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee. It now awaits further action from the Assembly.
Pinkin sponsored the second bill, (A-343), with fellow Assembly Democrats Thomas Giblin and Mila Jasey. It also cleared the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee Monday.
“This is yet another positive step that we can take to help streamline the health care delivery process,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “It allows us to serve patients and consumers more effectively and in a timely manner.”
Although current law allows a licensed pharmacist to administer certain injectable medications if the licensed pharmacist is certified and pre-approved by the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, it does not permit a pharmacy intern or extern to administer injectable medications.
“This bill allows patients to get the medication that they need under the care of a pharmacy extern or intern as well as a licensed pharmacist,” said Giblin (D-Essex, Passaic). “Such an environment of care is extremely beneficial for patients.”
“Pharmacists are often overwhelmed with patient volume,” said Jasey (D-Essex, Morris). “This bill provides a means of easing that load while not adversely impacting patient care.”
The bill cleared its first legislative hurdle in January and now awaits further action from the Assembly.