Legislators are considering a new policy to address so-called pharmacy “deserts” in Iowa. Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says Iowans in rural areas often have to drive long distances to get a prescription filled, so the bill would establish “tele-pharmacy” services.
“A pharmacist would review all the information and then, in turn, ship the medicine back to a location that is basically (run) not necessarily by a pharmacist, but technicians,” Dotzler says.
Certified pharmacy technicians would dispense the drugs, under the supervision of a pharmacist at some other site who’s reviewing the prescription electronically. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy is recommending this new “tele-pharmacy” service.
The Senate unanimously passed a bill today that would legalize the practice. The bill now goes back to the House for review.
In other action today, the Senate voted to confirm several of Governor Terry Branstad’s top administrators. All but two senators voted to give Paul Trombino another four-year run as director of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Donna Mueller has been executive director of the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System since 2003 and the Senate unanimously voted to give her another four-year term in the post.