Legislature passes bill putting pharmacists frontline to combat HIV spread
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/4/23-Rep. Gallop Franklin II, D-Tallahassee, during the the Banking and Insurance Committee, Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Rep. Gallop Franklin named the measure in honor of Rep. Dana Trabulsy's brother, who died of AIDS.

Pharmacists could be on the front lines in the state’s efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS after the House gave final approval to bill (HB 159) sponsored by Democratic Rep. Gallop Franklin.

If approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis, pharmacists could screen adults for HIV exposure and provide the results of such screening. Certain pharmacists who work collaboratively with physicians to treat patients could also become certified to order and dispense post-exposure prophylaxis.

The House had previously sent the bill to the Senate, which tagged an amendment onto it that tightened language regarding the collaborative agreements between physicians and pharmacists.

Franklin, a pharmacist, named the measure the “John W. Rheay Act,” after Republican Rep. Dana Trabulsy’s brother, who died of AIDS. On Wednesday, she thanked Franklin and Senate sponsor Alexis Calatayud.

“Nothing happens by coincidence in this chamber. And it just so happened that this bill came over in messages today, and today is the 29th anniversary of my brother’s passing for which this bill is named for,” Trabulsy said. “So I am so grateful. And thank you all for voting ‘yes,’” she said.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • Outwitted, Underwater & Uninsurable Florida

    March 7, 2024 at 1:37 am

    Measles, COVID, HIV; florida is gross.

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 7, 2024 at 7:24 am

    What was Rhonda’s old campaign slogan? I already forgot!

    It was “Florida is where infection goes to flourish,” wasn’t it?

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