A new law approved in Minnesota this week, MN SF 13, expands pharmacists’ authority by allowing them to administer FDA-authorized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines when they become available.

The law also expands pharmacists’ authority by giving them the ability to prescribe self-administered hormonal contraceptives, nicotine replacement medications, and opiate antagonists.

Furthermore, due to the state of emergency declared by Governor Tim Walz (D) in Minnesota on May 28 because of protests taking place in Minneapolis, pharmacists have been allowed to dispense therapeutically equivalent interchangeable prescribed drugs or biological products pending certain requirements.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) released a statement yesterday commending the new law in Minnesota. NCPA also lauded the announcement made last week in New York by Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding the state launching a COVID-19 testing pilot program that would include pharmacists. NCPA has been advocating for the involvement of pharmacists in testing patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in administering vaccinations once an FDA-approved vaccine is available.

“Pharmacists are the country’s most accessible health care providers, whether during a pandemic or in calmer times,” said Karry La Violette, senior vice president of government affairs at NCPA, in the organization’s released statement. “Thanks to Minnesota’s policymakers, pharmacists can now make an even bigger contribution to patient care and the fight against the coronavirus.”

NCPA Applauds First-In-Nation Law Expanding Pharmacists’ Vaccine Authority to Include COVID-19 [news release]. Alexandria, VA: NCPA; May 28, 2020. Accessed May 29, 2020.