Rep. Thai’s pharmacy inspection measure signed by governor

OLYMPIA – A bill to ensure out of state pharmacies adhere to the same patient safety inspections as in-state pharmacies was signed by the governor into law today.

Rep. My-Linh Thai (D-Bellevue), is the sponsor of HB 1412, which passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“This is really about safety and consistency for patients,” Thai said. “As a pharmacist, I know the inspection process is an important part of quality assurance.”

Washingtonians fill prescriptions either through pharmacies located in the state, or through “nonresident pharmacies,” which are located out of state. Patients use nonresident pharmacies either because their coverage offers incentives for mail-order prescriptions, or because of the need for independently compounded drugs from specialty pharmacies.

For an initial license, a nonresident pharmacy must include an inspection report from the state in which it is located. But until now, Washington had no requirement for subsequent inspections to renew the license, unlike ongoing inspection requirements for in-state pharmacies.

HB 1412 ensures the patient safety standards for nonresident pharmacies are equivalent to those required of Washington pharmacies.

The bill passed the House 90-3, and passed the Senate unanimously. It is Rep. Thai’s first bill to reach the governor’s desk.

Sworn into office earlier this year, Rep. Thai is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Pharmacy and the first refugee elected to the Washington State Legislature.