COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Safeway pharmacies across Colorado say they are officially offering expanded prescriptive services following the passage of Colorado Senate Bill 21-094.
"We are expanding our services through what we are calling 'Pharmacists Prescribing,'" said Nikki Price, Director of Pharmacy Operations for Albertsons Safeway Pharmacies. "It enables our pharmacists to prescribe for services that are acute ailments. So if you think you have the flu, we can test you for it — similar to going to your doctor's office — and then treat you for it.”
Safeway says patients can now walk up to the pharmacy counter for services such as UTI treatment, cold sore treatment, acne treatment, strep throat and flu testing and treatment, epinephrine (epi-pens), migraine treatment, oral contraceptives, motion sickness treatment, glucagon as well as diabetes supplies without visiting a doctor first.
Safeway had all of their pharmacists undergo additional training to prepare for this change, with both online lessons and skills checks.
But, there are some patients and services they will still need to pass off to a doctor.
"The law actually only allows us to be able to treat for 12 years and up," said Price. "So if a 10-year-old came in for the flu, we're going to automatically say, 'I'm sorry, we're going to have to send you to a provider.' Or if there's a urinary tract infection and the patient has a temperature, we're going to send them to another provider because it could have another underlying condition with it.”
If someone has been previously treated by pharmacists for an ailment like strep and comes back for a second round of treatment, Safeway says they will also refer that patient to a doctor in case there is another underlying issue.
Safeway says they’re looking forward to serving patients who may need help right away, or can’t afford to head into urgent care.
"If you just moved here, and you don't have a primary provider, or it's on a weekend or night, or you're a working parent and your child comes home and they got a sore throat and you might think it's strep; bring them into our pharmacies," said Price. "That's really what we're here for; is to close that gap of care, provide quality care, and get you feeling better quicker."
These expanded prescription services are now available at all Safeway pharmacies in the state of Colorado.
There is a $35 service fee to utilize 'Pharmacists Prescribing.'