Pharmacy-Based Tuberculosis Skin Testing (TST): Approaches to Legal Authority
The Mantoux Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) is the standard method for detecting latent tuberculosis and has been provided by pharmacists since at least 2006. In the largest published study of pharmacy-based TST involving 578 patients, the most common reason for obtaining the test were employment or school requirements.Pharmacists have demonstrated high rates of follow-up for the reading of the test, reported to be 92.8% to 94.4%. The biggest barrier to pharmacy-based TST is that a prescription is required for the two tuberculosis (TB) purified protein derivative products available on the market in the United States. States have adopted three strategies to enable pharmacy-based TST prescribing: 1) collaborative practice agreements; 2) statewide protocols; and 3) independent prescribing. These three approaches are reviewed, with a focus on the New Mexico statewide protocol and the recent statutory authority in Idaho that grants pharmacists independent prescriptive authority for TST. States may consider pursuing more autonomous models of TST prescribing given the safety and track record of this service at pharmacies.