Senate Bill 340, which would allow ‘remote pharmacies’ that are not staffed by an on-site pharmacist, cleared Michigan Legislature Wednesday, January, 8, 2020 on a 32-5 Senate vote. The bill is now waiting for Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s signature in order to be passed as law.
SB 340 would allow the use of telecommunication to permit a pharmacist at a ‘parent pharmacy’ to oversee up to two remote pharmacies. Pharmacists at the parent pharmacy would utilize real-time audio and visual connections in order to supervise the remote locations. However, the bill would only permit a remote pharmacy in a location if it is more than 10 miles from a regular pharmacy, unless the state waives the requirement due to evidence of other factors limiting local patient access to pharmacy services.
This bill, proposed by Michigan Senator Curt VanderWall and backed by the Michigan Pharmacists Association and major drug distributor Cardinal Health, aims to expand patient access to pharmacy services in rural and underserved areas. If passed, Michigan would become the 24th state to allow remote pharmacies staffed only by pharmacy technicians.