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Legislation advanced today from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, 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.

“We must be proactive if we want to address the underlying cause of many societal challenges, including homelessness,” Sen. Dodd said. “Many people can’t get to the medication they need to lead healthy, productive lives, so we will bring it to them. 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. It passed the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee with overwhelming support.

“An important step in bringing a mobile pharmacy to San Diego County residents occurred today as the bill passed out of committee,” said Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “We need to meet people where they are with their medical care and this new mobile option to fulfill the prescription needs of residents across our county is one way we’re doing it. I appreciate Sen. Bill Dodd for his partnership on this legislation; our county is ready to support him in any way necessary.”