2012 Arkansas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2012)

handle is hein.sag/sagak0061 and id is 1 raw text is: SEAN PARNELL, GOVERNOR

DEPARTMENT OF LAW                   1031 WEST 4TffA VENUE, SUITE 200
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 99501-1994
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL          PHONE:   (907)269-5100
FAX.-   (907)276-3697
April 17, 2012
Richard C. Holm, Chair
Board of Pharmacy
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
Re:   License requirements for individual pharmacists working for tribal health
programs, AGO No. AN2009102500
Dear Mr. Holm:
You have asked whether Alaska professional licensing requirements apply to
pharmacists working for Alaska Native tribal health programs. As explained in the
following opinion, because of a federal law enacted in March 2010, pharmacists
employed by tribal health programs do not need to be licensed in Alaska as long as they
are licensed in another state. This federal law, sometimes called Section 221, reads:
Licensed health professionals employed by a tribal health program shall be
exempt, if licensed in any State, from the licensing requirements of the
State in which the tribal health program performs the services described in
the contract or compact of the tribal health program under the Indian Self-
Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.).'
Section 221 expressly preempts-i.e., overrides-state licensing requirements for a
pharmacist who qualifies for the exemption.2
The conclusion that pharmacists employed by tribal health programs are exempt
from Alaska licensing requirements relies entirely on the existence of Section 221.
Section 221 was enacted along with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(PPACA). PPACA has been challenged in multiple lawsuits, and the U.S. Supreme

See subsection III(A) of opinion.

25 U.S.C.  1621t.

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