New Maryland Law Authorizes PAs to Prepare and Dispense Medications

May 18, 2018

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signs HB 591/SB 549
Gov. Larry Hogan signs HB 591/SB 549 into law.

On May 8, 2018, Gov. Larry Hogan signed HB 591/SB 549 into law. The legislation, which becomes effective on Oct. 1, 2018, was a priority bill for the Maryland Academy of PAs (MAPA) and authorizes PAs to prepare and dispense medications they can already prescribe within their scope of practice.  The bills were supported by Righttime Medical Care, which has provided urgent care in Maryland for more than 25 years, the Primary Care Coalition (which administers a program for low income, uninsured residents), and the Maryland State Medical Society, among several organizations.

Given healthcare shortages in the state, particularly in rural and underserved areas, access to care in Maryland is imperative. The enactment of this legislation will help patients adhere to prescriptive regimens to manage their medical conditions as well as increase access to care for many Marylanders who either cannot afford prescriptions or are unable to make it to pharmacies. The legislation will also remove dispensing limitations imposed on PA practice that disincentivized PA hiring in underserved and rural areas.

For more information on this legislation or PA practice in Maryland, contact Stephanie Radix, senior director, constituent organization outreach and advocacy.

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