Exact Sciences Senior Manager, Brooke Sorgi (left) Pharmacist at Capital Pharmacy & Medical Equipment, Dr. Emily Wilkerson (right)

Kentucky Becomes First State to Authorize Pharmacists to Provide Colorectal Cancer Screening Services

Health plans show support for innovative, pharmacist-led care with $50,000 Grant

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Frankfort, KY – The first pharmacist-led colorectal cancer screening via a non-invasive stool-based test in the nation recently occurred at Capital Pharmacy & Medical Equipment in Frankfort, Kentucky. 

“Pharmacists are an integral part of the healthcare delivery system in prevention, public health issues, and the dispensing of life-saving medications,” said Ben Mudd, Executive Director of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association. “Adding assessment of and screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) to existing pharmacy protocols can greatly impact our two-decade-long fight to increase CRC screening rates. With early detection, Colorectal Cancer is a preventable, treatable, and beatable disease.” 

The Kentucky Association of Health Plans (KAHP), the trade association representing all commercial insurers and Medicaid-managed care plans in the Commonwealth, awarded the Kentucky Pharmacists Education and Research Foundation (KPERF) a $50,000 grant to expand access to these screenings throughout Kentucky. Through a mutually beneficial partnership for KAHP and KPERF, the grant is designed to expand the number of pharmacies and pharmacists who can provide this service to Kentuckians. Participating pharmacies will be reimbursed via grant funding for pharmacist-led screening and follow-up.  

“Health plans and pharmacists are joining together to tackle a leading cause of death in the Commonwealth,” said Tom Stephens, Executive Director of Kentucky Association of Health Plans. ”We can close the gap by offering colorectal cancer screenings through a new Kentucky Board of Pharmacy-approved protocol, as authorized under state law and regulation.  We’re excited about the potential to be a transformative innovator among the states.”

In September 2021, the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy approved a pharmacist-led colorectal cancer screening protocol allowing pharmacists to initiate the dispensing of noninvasive stool-based CRC screening methods such as a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or a stool DNA test (sDNA-FIT) at their local pharmacy. Now eligible patients ages 45-85 at average risk for colorectal cancer have one less step to take if they meet the requirements for pharmacist-led screening. 

As the most accessible healthcare provider, pharmacists have an unparalleled relationship with their patients. Whether through education on various disease states and preventive health measures, or directing patients to physician care when appropriate, pharmacists are uniquely positioned to help patients achieve better outcomes. Colorectal screenings, and pharmacist-led protocols, in general, equip pharmacists with another opportunity to save lives. 

Pharmacies interested in providing this service to your patients should contact Dr. Emily Wilkerson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

About the Kentucky Pharmacists Association  The Kentucky Pharmacists Association (KPhA) is the largest professional organization representing pharmacists in the Commonwealth and has been serving its members since 1879. The mission of KPhA is to advocate and advance the pharmacy profession to improve the health of Kentuckians. For more information, visit www.kphanet.org.  

About Kentucky Association of Health Plans

Kentucky Association of Health Plans is the trade organization representing Kentucky’s health insurance community. KAHP is a leader on issues that strengthen the accessibility, value, and quality of healthcare in the Commonwealth. Members include Aetna, Anthem, CareSource, Humana, Passport Health Plan by Molina Healthcare, UnitedHealth Group and WellCare. For more information visit: www.kahp.org or follow @kyhealthplans on Twitter.

Photo Caption: Exact Sciences Senior Manager, Brooke Sorgi (left) Pharmacist at Capital Pharmacy & Medical Equipment, Dr. Emily Wilkerson (right) Implementation of the first colorectal cancer screening protocol in the nation at Capital Pharmacy & Medical Equipment in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Sept. 29, 2022. Exact Sciences, the makers of Cologuard, a stool DNA-based screening test, provide pharmacists with the necessary tools and training to order Cologuard for eligible patients under the Board-authorized protocol.

 

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