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The recent passing of Senate Bill (SB) 493 – effective on January 1, 2014 – addresses a primary care provider shortage in California by declaring pharmacists as health care providers and authorizing new roles for them in patient care. The aims of this pilot study were to examine California registered pharmacists’ awareness and knowledge of the expanded authorities granted by SB 493 as well as to assess their perception of their own readiness to exercise these new authorities. A cross-sectional, observational study was designed, and a 40-question survey was administered electronically through Qualtrics to adjunct faculty, clinical faculty, and alumni of Touro University California College of Pharmacy. All participants were aware of this new legislation. Through their responses to Likert-scale questions, pharmacists’ self-perceived readiness for each new authority was discovered. A Kruskal-Wallis test revealed no statistically significant difference among the three subgroups’ self-perceived readiness to exercise most of the new authorities, except initiating and administering vaccinations independently to those older than three years old without a physician’s collaborative practice protocol (p = 0.0123). The lower degree of self-perceived readiness to provide immunizations independently reported by adjunct faculty might have been due to not being certified as immunizers, reflecting the need to be educated on administration of vaccinations.

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Originally published in California Pharmacist, 62(1), 25-31. © 2015 California Pharmacists Association. Reprinted with permission by the publisher.