After long weeks of negotiations and lobbying by professional organizations, the House of Representatives approved this Tuesday the project that would amend the Pharmacy Lawwhich contrary to its original intention, maintained the power to perform clinical tests in laboratories and medical technologists.
“The project, as it ended, allows us to continue doing tests with the quality and experience that clinical laboratories have, and pharmacies continue with their area of drug therapy, in which they are experts”he explained Wilson Lopezpresident of the Association of Clinical Laboratories.
He Senate Bill 258 received 46 votes in favor. The chamber spokesperson of Dignity Project, Lisie Burgosand the representative for the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) Lydia Mendez They rejected the measure.
Behind the Chamber and the Senate concur with the amendments, the measure goes to the governor’s consideration Pedro Pierluisi.
“Our mission was to bring the message that There are things that belong to a union, such as pharmacists, and others that belong to us, such as clinical laboratories and medical technologists.”Lopez stressed.
The original measure, authored by the New Progressive senators Carmelo Rios and Gregorio Matiasempowered pharmacies to perform certain clinical tests (cholesterol, glucose), an issue that became a roadblock for several months. Opponents of the legislative piece argued that it was contrary to the work and operation of clinical laboratories on the island.
“We are happy because, somehow, the project was approved without the amendment that affected us, the laboratories,” Lopez stressed.
Once the matter is over, Lopez indicated that they will focus on addressing other “equally important” causes, such as the low rates of medical plans, specifically, the Health Insurance Administration (ACES). “We have more than 150 tests that are below cost. In other words, every time one of these tests is done, we are losing money. On many occasions, we do the test to support the patient, but the time will come when it cannot be done,” he warned.
Among these tests, for example, is the analysis to diagnose the mycoplasma. Lopez explained that ASES pays between $8 and $14 for this test, when the average cost to laboratories, per test, reaches $30. “It’s not just what the ‘kit’ costs me, it’s the employee’s time, the samples, the needle,” he emphasized. “Right now, with the rates we have, it is definitely difficult for us to do the work we have to do,” she stressed.
In Puerto Rico, he said, there are three organizations that bring together about 1,000 laboratories.
Senate Bill 258 would also incorporate other changes to the Pharmacy Law (Law 247 of 2004). Among the most important, is that the pharmacy technician can perform, under the direct supervision of the pharmacist, the technical or administrative functions related to the dispensing of medications and devices, through a prescription delegated by the pharmacist and that do not require the professional judgment of this.
Streets named after illustrious women
Likewise, the House of Representatives unanimously approved Senate Bill 1246, which seeks to identify streets named after illustrious womenwith the intention of educating the population about the exploits of these personalities in Puerto Rican history.
The initiative “Streets named after a woman” It was promoted by the Garage Isla Verde car dealership, in March.
Following this initiative, the representative Hector Ferrer Santiago presented the measure, as well as 10 other road name change resolutions that seek to promote gender equality in street nomenclature.