Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Health Care & Wellness Committee

HB 1625

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning provision of drugs to ambulance or aid services.

Sponsors: Representatives Schmick and Wylie.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Allows hospital-based pharmacies to provide minimal quantities of medications to ambulance and aid services if they are related to emergency medical services.

Hearing Date: 2/10/15

Staff: Chris Blake (786-7392).


Hospitals that have pharmaceutical services are responsible for the distribution of drugs throughout the hospital. Hospital pharmacies must be licensed by the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission. They provide pharmaceutical services that include procuring, preparing, storing, distributing, and controlling all drugs in the hospital; inspecting nursing care units where medications are dispensed, administered, or stored; monitoring drug therapy; providing drug information to patients and providers; and surveying and reporting adverse drug reactions.

Regulations adopted by the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission define "wholesale distribution" as the sale of prescription drugs to a person who is not a consumer or patient. Hospital pharmacies are not generally engaged in wholesale drug distribution activities, however, they may perform some similar functions that have been specifically exempted from the term. These exemptions include certain intracompany transfers to affiliated entities and the sale of a drug for emergency medical reasons. The term "emergency medical reasons" is not defined, but includes transfers of drugs between retail pharmacies to alleviate temporary shortages.

Summary of Bill:

Pharmacies operated by a hospital may provide minimal quantities of medications to ambulance and aid services for uses associated with providing emergency medical services. The pharmacies may provide the medications if:

The Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission must collaborate with the Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Steering Committee to develop guidelines for hospitals, ambulance and aid services, and medical program directors for the provision of medications in accordance with state and federal laws.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.