California Telemedicine Bills Signed into Law

On October 7, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed into law, bill (AB 401) authored by Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, which authorizes the use of telepharmacy health technology in California for the first time.

AB 401 will change the current requirements that prescription drugs can only be dispensed at licensed pharmacies, which leaves some rural residents with limited access to their medications. This bill will allow “remote dispensing pharmacies” to open and utilize telepharmacy in areas where there are no pharmacies within 10 miles. 

Also in that same week, Assemblyman Miguel Santiago’s (AB 40) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown (D). The bill allows the CURES database to integrate with other health information technology systems and permits health practitioners and pharmacists to access the database. 

This bill would, no later than October 1, 2018, require the Department of Justice to make the electronic history of controlled substances dispensed to an individual under a health care practitioner’s or pharmacist’s care, based on data contained in the CURES database, available to the practitioner or pharmacist, as specified.