2021 Legislation

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would make adult vaccines more accessible by being administered at local pharmacies.  

Governor Brian Kemp authorized pharmacists to provide the COVID-19 vaccine for the duration of the state's  period of emergency, which expired on January 31, 2021. As the pandemic continues, Georgia lags behind other states in vaccinating against COVID-19 and among minority communities, immunization rates are even worse. 

In many communities across Georgia, pharmacists are the first line of defense to help keep communities safe and healthy. And in rural parts of the state, pharmacists are far more numerous than clinics, public health facilities, or other providers.

That's why we are advocating to allow pharmacists to continue providing COVID-19 vaccines and to be able to administer all ACIP-approved adult immunizations. 

Georgia Lawmakers Are Considering SB 46: Pharmacists Authorization Legislation for Covid Vaccinations

  • SB 46: Senator Dean Burke introduced the bill to expand pharmacist vaccination authority and to allow pharmacists to continue administering the COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • The legislation would do the following: 

1.  Change Georgia law to allow pharmacists to continue to administer the COVID-19 vaccine after the period of emergency (ended January 31, 2021).

2. Expand the vaccines pharmacists can administer via protocol to include all Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccines for adults.

 

  • In addition to being critical in the fight against COVID-19, expanding pharmacist vaccination authority can help in the fight against health disparities that disproportionately impact minorities and communities of color.

  • Making vaccines more accessible by being administered at local pharmacies is an easy step that can save countless lives.

Georgia legislators are considering legislation for additional issues that are limiting patient access to medications.  

  • HB 164: Sponsored by Rep. Demetrius Douglas and Rep. Sharon Cooper, HB 164 would require that patients receive 80% of prescription drug rebates at point of sale and help them avoid high out-of-pocket costs of specialty drugs, especially ones with no generic alternative.

  • The legislation would do the following: 

1.  Require all health insurers to pass along no less than 80 percent of all prescription drug rebates to enrollees that such insurer receives from third parties for the enrollee's prescription drugs.

 

  • This legislation is critical for patients living with chronic diseases who rely on vital medications.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that patients and families struggling with chronic and debilitating illnesses are supported and not forced to choose between their health and financial stability.

  • SB 83: Sponsored by Senator Sally Harrell, would Georgia’s Department of Community Health to develop a new public insurance option called “PeachCare Public Option” that allows ALL Georgians, regardless of age, income level, or insurance status to buy in to Georgia’s Medicaid Managed Care program, the same system used for Georgia’s popular PeachCare for Kids program.

  • This legislation is necessary for helping to provide an affordable public insurance program to fill gaps where private insurance is not available.

  • This legislation could help Georgians across the country have access to health insurance and benefits at a significantly lower price than an equivalent private insurance plan.

Rx in Reach is also watching:

  • Georgia dental hygienists have appealed to Governor Kemp to allow licensed dental hygienists the authority to administer COVID-19 vaccines at public health sites on a volunteer basis.

Rx in Reach Georgia
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Dorothy Leone-Glasser, RN, HHC
Executive Director,

Advocates for Responsible Care

Email: dlg@arxc.org
Phone: 404-633-5843

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