The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted North Carolina legislature to pass House Bill 96 into law, extending the authorization that was temporarily given to pharmacists through the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act and by a standing order from the North Carolina state health director. In response to the pandemic, North Carolina pharmacists, technicians, and interns were given emergency authority to administer COVID-19 vaccines. This new law will expand the temporary authority into a permanent authority for pharmacists. This law authorizes pharmacists to dispense, deliver, and administer treatment and medications without a prescription, and it also now requires parental consent for the administration of vaccines under emergency authorization (such as COVID-19) to a minor (under 18 years of age).
The News & Observer
House Bill 96 is currently under consideration by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. Under the bill, pharmacists would be able to dispense a number of new medications: PEPs, contraceptives, testosterone, and more. However, they would also be required to get written permission from parents whose children looked to get a COVID-19 vaccine. TheCOVID-19 amendment has created controversy among the House, but the bill remains as-is, waiting for the governor's response.
A new bill, House Bill 96, would grant pharmacists in the state the ability to administer injectable medicines with a prescription. Currently, pharmacists can administer vaccines, but this bill would give them the ability to offer other kinds of injections as well. In effect, the bill would grant pharmacists greater authority and improve access to patients. HB 96 passed the House unanimously and awaits hearing in the Senate healthcare committee. (UPDATE: House Bill 96 has been passed into law on August 20th, 2021)