The Business Council supports S.1742 (Skoufis) / A.1534 (Gottfried), which would permit licensed pharmacists, during a declared state of emergency, to order and administer tests to patients suspected of an infectious disease or its antibodies, provided such test is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As we continue living through a pandemic caused by a novel virus, we are soberly reminded that we were missing some important tools for the protection of public health. Controlling this pandemic has been made easier by utilizing the expertise of pharmacists in giving vaccinations to the public. We believe that utilizing pharmacists’ expertise for the purposes of testing would also be a boon to public health during times of crisis.
It makes sense that when we make it more convenient for New Yorkers to get tested, they will do just that. New Yorkers’ access to primary care is not equal geographically and is unequal based on race. While we are certain that there are many factors at play, we know that there are many adults who do not regularly visit a primary care physician but are frequently in and out of pharmacies, putting them in direct contact with over 14,000 licensed pharmacists, ready to administer tests if necessary.
Such expanded access to New York’s underserved communities will lead to more ubiquitous testing in emergency situations.
This bill expands access to underserved communities, promotes public health, saves healthcare dollars and increases business productivity. It is for these reasons that The Business Council supports S.1742 (Skoufis) / A.1534 (Gottfried).