Professor of Pharmacy Practice Bruce Clayton helped make the case for a new Indiana law, which allows pharmacists to administer a broader range of vaccines. The bill will also allow pharmacy students to administer the vaccines to patients under the supervision of a pharmacist.
Along with Professor Carrie Maffeo, Clayton co-instructs an immunization course for pharmacy seniors in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS). He testified in favor of Indiana House Bill (HB) 1464, during recent legislative committee hearings. The bill was passed and becomes state law in July.
With the bill’s passage, he said, COPHS will start the education program earlier in the curriculum so students can gain more experience in immunization practices.
HB 1464 grants authority to pharmacists to administer several vaccines (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, human papillomavirus, pneumococcal, and meningococcal vaccines) in community pharmacies and clinics. Current law limits pharmacists to administering influenza and herpes zoster vaccine.
Clayton told legislators that, because pharmacists are “the most readily available health professionals to the public across the state,” authorizing them to provide more immunizations would benefit public health in Indiana.
“I assured the committees that pharmacists and pharmacy students are well prepared to administer vaccines,” he said, “that indeed, over 2,700 pharmacists in Indiana have become certified to administer vaccines as a public health service.
Three P-4 students accompanied Clayton to the State House—Sterling Bigler for a House committee session, and Courtney Albers and Kyle Keith before a Senate committee.
The Butler pharmacy program also participated in a Pharmacy Legislative Day at the State House sponsored by the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance on Feb. 13. Clayton, along with COPHS faculty Carriann Ritchey-Smith and Bonnie Brown, attended with about 125 P-1 students.
A new Indiana law governing physician assistant practices also passed this spring, with help from COPHS students and faculty.
Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson