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Sen. Dodd Introduces Mobile Pharmacy Van Bill

01/24/22

 

 Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation today that would authorize the creation of mobile pharmacy vans to bring medication and counseling to California’s hard-to-reach communities, improving health for homeless people and many others who have inadequate access to care.

“Many people can’t get to the medication they need to lead healthy, productive lives, so we will bring it to them,” said Sen. Dodd. “We must be proactive if we want to address the underlying cause of many societal challenges, including homelessness. This bill creates critical access to potentially life-saving drugs that will improve the lives of the most vulnerable Californians.”

Sen. Dodd’s proposal, Senate Bill 872, authorizes public agencies and others on the front lines of serving homeless and vulnerable people to operate mobile pharmacies. Each mobile unit would have a physician as part of the team to prescribe medications that can be dispensed immediately. Oversight would come from the state Board of Pharmacy.

The bill is supported by healthcare groups as well as Contra Costa, San Diego and Santa Clara counties.

“A mobile pharmacy can more effectively reach vulnerable populations and underserved neighborhoods,” said Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “There are working families in our city centers and rural areas who forgo the medicine they need to maintain their health because they lack access to a nearby pharmacy; we have the ability to improve their circumstances by changing the law. I want to thank Sen. Bill Dodd for his partnership on this legislation; our county is ready to support him in any way necessary.”

“The county of Santa Clara’s health system is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of communities we serve,” said René G. Santiago, deputy county executive and director of Santa Clara County Health System.

“Sen. Dodd’s bill will further our mission by providing us the ability to operate a mobile pharmacy to dispense medications to underserved areas and homeless populations. Doing this will help us address health equity challenges for vulnerable residents by improving access to needed medications.”