Saving Lives: The Role of The Pharmacist in HIV

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In this episode we discuss SB 159 (Wiener) the PrEP & PEP -Pharmacists Authority to Furnish Bill currently making its way through the California Legislature.

CDC estimates 1,145,000 people in the United States have an indication for PrEP. Currently there are only about 167,000 of those at risk for HIV in the United States using PrEP.

“BE THE CHANGE”

Gandhi

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Show Notes:

  • Why SB159 is important to the health of ALL Californians
  • Why pharmacist healthcare providers are first line providers in providing PrEP and PEP
  • Find out some of the barriers to accessing PrEP and PEP

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Transcription

Hi, this is Michele Sherman, your conscious pharmacist and welcome to today’s episode of the conscious pharmacist podcast. Today I wanted to talk to you a little bit about a bill that’s in the California legislature right now called SB159. This is an amazing pharmacy bill that has been authored by Senator Scott Wiener from San Francisco. And this, the basis of this bill is for trained pharmacists to be able to furnish prep and pep. Pharmacists we are the healthcare providers that are on there on the front line and we can make a significant impact in public health and in the health, the overall health of patients and prevent the spread of HIV. This is an amazing bill, which if passes would help HIV negative clients who are at risk right around the state of California. This bill this past week, was before the Senate business and professions committee and it passed the committee with the six to zero vote.

It was three abstentions. The senators that we were supported, supported the bill. We’re sending it a Steven glacier who was the chair. He’s from the Concord area sooner to Bill Dodd from Napa senator to Kathleen Gal Belge Arnie from Stockton, senator Jerry hill from San Mateo, senator Connie Leyva from Chino and standard a squat Wilke from Santa Clarita, the three senators that abstained. We’re sending a Bob archer letter from Pico Rivera, senator Ling, Ling Chang from Diamond Bar and senator Richard Pan from Sacramento. This is the first step in moving this bill, through the legislature and hopefully ending up on governor Gavin Newsome’s desk for signature. The next step for this bill is the Senate Health Committee. So take heed of this and if you’re a pharmacist or a provider in California, please contact your local senators and assembly people and tell them of the importance of this bill. Um, I’ve been very active and a great supporter of this bill.

I’ve encouraged associates and colleagues to write letters to contact the senators about this bill and support this bill. So I wanted to take this opportunity to read the letter of support that I wrote to um, senator Glazer in support of the bill. It’s an HIV pharmacist and patient advocate. I believe that SB159 will be critical in providing prep and pep to Californians that are at risk for contracting HIV. It is an important bill promoting the health and wellbeing of all Californians. The role of the pharmacist as a respected, accessible and crucial healthcare provider for Californians is well documented in SB493 signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in October, 2013. Studies have shown that HIV negative individuals who have access to PrEP or protected from contracting HIV. I practice in Orange County and have many horror stories of individuals actively seeking PrEP who have been denied access due to physician.

Lack of knowledge, lack of information, stigma, just judgment or just plain refusing to prescribe it for patients. This lack of knowledge and indifference of many physicians also prevents them from having frank discussions with their patients about sex and safe sexual practices, in which case many individuals who would benefit from prep or overlooked and dismissed when an individual has been exposed to HIV infection, whether through needle stick and protected sex such as a condom break when rape and sexual assault, getting access to postexposure prophylaxis or PEP within 72 hours of the exposure is absolutely essential for the success of the treatment to prevent HIV seroconversion access to timely pep has in my experience been abysmal. I have multiple examples of emergency room physicians failing. Patients who need access to PEP issues include inappropriate regiments, not prescribing PEP in a timely manner, not informing patients how to access PEP and getting the prescriptions filled at the pharmacy.

In many instances, there’s judgment, attitude and stigma. It makes a bad stressful situation even worse for the patient. As pharmacists, we are more accessible to patients than other healthcare providers. And in their extensive knowledge and training with regards to medication, puts us in the perfect position to be able to furnish prep and pep to a patient’s PrEP and PEP furnished by pharmacists will increase patient adherence rates, further improving PrEP and PEP outcomes at the end of this letter or a number of studies that demonstrate the impact of pharmacists improving adherence and outcomes in people living with HIV. The same would apply to those on pep and prep. Pharmacist certifies to furnish a PrEP and PEP will most certainly impact the rates of HIV infections in California by protecting individuals’ health and preventing new HIV transmissions. SB159 is a tremendous step in ensuring the health of all Californians.

And then sincerely, Michelle Sherman, president of Michelle Rakes, pharmacist consulting services. I’ve cited a bunch of studies, some of which is also my own research at the end of this later. And we’ll posted on, the MichRX pharmacists consulting website and, our podcast section. So if you want to see these studies and um, get more information, you can. So I’m on this podcast. I just wanted to urge all the pharmacists, technicians, advocates, and providers sharing the state of California to please contact your legislators and support SB159. That’s it for this episode of the conscious pharmacist called podcast and we’ll catch you next time in health and have an awesome day.

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