COVID-19 Information and Updates
Board issues Responses to Governor Reynolds’ Proclamations of Disaster Emergency
In response to the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Iowa Board of Pharmacy has issued the following guidances to assist licensees in their response to the global pandemic. In her Proclamations, Governor Reynolds temporarily suspended a number of regulatory provisions applicable to a number of professions, including the practice of pharmacy. The Proclamations ease administrative rules relating to continuing education, renewal of licenses, internship requirements, background checks, pharmacist licenses, technician trainee registrations, and exam testing requirements. The suspension of rules identified in the Proclamations is currently effective through May 30, 2021.
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (May 5, 2021)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (April 5, 2021)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (March 8, 2021)
Board of Pharmacy’s Response to Governor’s Proclamation (February 8, 2021)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (January 7, 2021)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (December 10, 2020
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (November 10, 2020)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (October 16, 2020)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (September 24, 2020)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (August 21, 2020)
(June 26, 2020)
(May 27, 2020)
(April 29, 2020)
(April 6, 2020)
(March 27, 2020)
Board issues Statement of Enforcement Discretion
The Board recognizes that there are myriad other challenges posed to pharmacies by this pandemic. The Board has issued this to provide guidance to pharmacies about the Board’s enforcement of certain administrative rules during this period of public health disaster emergency.
Board issues Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19
The Board has received a number of questions from pharmacies and practitioners about responding to coronavirus-related difficulties. To aid pharmacies and practitioners, the Board has issued a (updated May 5, 2021). This document will continue to be updated as warranted and licensees are encouraged to continue to check back to this site for updated information.
Board issues Joint Statement relating to hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine and azithromycin
The Iowa Boards of Medicine, Nursing, Physician Assistants, Dentistry and Pharmacy have recently received increased reports of prescriptions being issued for hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin for prophylactic purposes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and have issued this .
On September 11, 2020, the Iowa Boards of Medicine, Nursing, Physician Assistants, Dentistry and Pharmacy released an updated Joint Statement.
Board initiates participation in NABP Passport Program for pharmacists
As indicated in the Board’s April 6, 2020 Guidance, the Board has initiated participation in the . Through the Passport Program, a pharmacist who is licensed to practice pharmacy in another state can seek authorization to temporarily practice pharmacy in Iowa during the Disaster Emergency (currently through May 30, 2021). NABP screens the Passport applicants and, if deemed qualified, NABP will issue a temporary authorization to practice in Iowa. Note that this Passport Authorization is not an official Iowa pharmacist license, but does allow the pharmacist to temporarily practice pharmacy in Iowa through the disaster emergency. A pharmacist who has been authorized through the Passport Program to practice in Iowa shall provide documentation of the Passport Authorization to a potential pharmacy in which the pharmacist intends to practice temporarily. A current list of pharmacists who have been authorized through the NABP Passport Program can be found (updated May 5, 2021). Passport Authorizations which were set to expire on December 31, 2020 will be extended by NABP, but note that Passport-authorized pharmacists are limited to practicing in Iowa through the end of the disaster emergency (currently set to expire on May 30, 2021).
State Medical Director issues PPE Shortage Order
On April 10, 2020, Dr. Caitlin Pedati, State Medical Director and Epidemiologist, issued this to direct health care practitioners in conserving and reusing PPE as the situation warrants.
Board issues Guidance for pharmacists to conduct COVID-19 tests
On April 23, 2020, the Board provided to pharmacists and pharmacies for conducting testing for COVID-19. As authorized under (issued April 8, 2020) and the PREP Act, pharmacists can independently order and administer COVID-19 tests, including serology tests, which have been issued . Pharmacists must comply with the guidance provided by the Board in engaging in COVID-19 testing.
On May 12, 2020, Dr. Caitlin Pedati, Medical Director and State Epidemiologist, issued this Standing Order authorizing COVID-19 testing in certain individuals. While pharmacists are authorized under HHS guidance to order and administer COVID-19 tests, this Standing Order provides an alternative if needed, such as to file a third-party claim to an insurer.
Board provides clarification relating to license/registration renewal verification
On March 22, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a Proclamation of Emergency Disaster. In Section 6 of the Proclamation, Governor Reynolds temporarily suspended rules relating to professional license and registration renewal. Individual licenses and registrations that expire while the Proclamation is in effect will remain active, even if the licensee or registrant is unable to renew. Note that the extension of expiration dates does NOT apply to any business license or registration.
The Governor signed a new Proclamation on April 30, 2021 which extended the provisions and is currently scheduled to expire May 30, 2021, but may be terminated or extended. Once the Proclamation is no longer in effect, any individual licensee or registrant whose license/registration expired between March 22, 2020 and May 30, 2021 and did not renew during the Proclamation will have 30 days to renew without penalty.
The Board will not be updating its database to extend the expiration dates for individual licenses and registrations that are affected by the Proclamations.
When using the Board’s online database to verify the status of an individual's license or a registration, please note that if the expiration date listed falls within the time period beginning March 22, 2020, and ending May 30, 2021, the license or registration shall be considered active. Beginning July 1, 2021, all statuses displayed in the database shall be considered accurate. The Board will post updated dates should the Proclamation be terminated or extended.
Board provides Guidance relating to emergency pharmacist licenses
In response to the issued by Governor Reynolds, the Board issued relating to the issuance of a pharmacist license to a recently graduated pharmacist-intern with the deferral of the completion of the criminal history background check and the required examinations (NAPLEX and MPJE-Iowa edition). The Board has also provided information and guidance in its regularly updated relating to the licensure of pharmacists who are seeking license transfer into Iowa. For an updated list of Iowa pharmacists who have been granted a pharmacist license pursuant to Governor Reynolds’s regulatory relief, click (updated May 5, 2021).
In the Governor’s April 30, 2021 Proclamation, she noted that Iowans should not expect this suspension to be extended beyond May 30, 2021. As such, pharmacist-interns who are graduating in May 2021 or after will be expected to meet the standard requirements for an initial license.
COVID-19 Vaccination Program Information
On September 29, 2020, the Iowa Department of Public Health issued a letter to all health care providers about enrollment in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Any health care provider who wishes to participate in the Vaccination Program must complete the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement. In the link to the Provider Agreement, a health care provider can access a PDF version of the Agreement, but note that the Provider Agreement may only be submitted via the online survey. All providers who participate in the Vaccination Program are required to submit documentation of the administration to the state’s vaccine registry. The Provider Agreement provides more information about the parameters of participating in the Program. The Board encourages pharmacies to participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program to the extent possible, if the pharmacy has appropriate resources to do so.
Dr. Caitlin Pedati has issued a Statewide Standing Order for COVID vaccinations which may be utilized by Iowa pharmacists. It can be found HERE, effective December 30, 2020. IDPH Interim Director Kelly Garcia also issued this COVID Vaccine Shortage Order, effective December 14, 2020.
More information about the COVID-19 Vaccination Program can be found at IDPH COVID-19 Vaccine Information.
Board issues Guidance for Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacist-Interns to Administer Immunizations and Conduct COVID-19 tests
On October 20, 2020, the United States Health and Human Services (HHS) issued Guidance adding “qualified pharmacy technicians” and “state-authorized pharmacy interns” to the list of individuals authorized to administer childhood immunizations, COVID-19 immunizations, and COVID-19 tests under the PREP Act. The Board provides this guidance to pharmacists, pharmacies, technicians, and pharmacist-interns for participating in such activities in this State.
On March 12, 2021, HHS amended the PREP Act to expand vaccine administration by registered pharmacist-interns. Qualified interns may administer vaccines under the supervision of a currently practicing healthcare professional who is experienced in administering intramuscular injections. A helpful fact sheet can be found HERE.
Board issues Guidance for Non-Resident Pharmacists and Pharmacist-Interns to Administer Immunizations in Iowa
On January 28, 2021, the United States Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its 5th amendment to the PREP Act. The amendment adds to the list of covered persons immune from liability for providing COVID countermeasures. The amendment:
Authorizes any healthcare provider who is licensed or certified in a state to prescribe, dispense, and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines in any other state or U.S. territory, so long as the license or certification has not been suspended or restricted by any licensing authority, surrendered while under suspension, discipline or investigation by a licensing authority or surrendered following an arrest, and the individual is not on the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities maintained by the Office of the Inspector General.
Authorizes any physician, registered nurse, or practical nurse whose license or certification expired within the past five years to prescribe, dispense and/or administer COVID-19 vaccines in any state or U.S. territory so long as the license or certification was active and in good standing prior to the date it went inactive.
Requires any healthcare professional described above to complete Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccine Training and, for healthcare providers who are not currently practicing or whose license or certification is expired, requires an on-site, documented observation period by a currently practicing healthcare professional.
The Board recognizes the preemption of the HHS Declaration to state law which otherwise requires a pharmacist or pharmacist-intern to hold an active Iowa license or registration prior to engaging vaccine administration. Consistent with the Board’s response to the Proclamations of Disaster Emergency issued by Governor Reynolds, the Board asks pharmacists who wish to engage in immunization activities in Iowa under the HHS Declaration to first obtain authorization through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Passport program. Pharmacist-Interns who wish to engage in immunization activities in Iowa are allowed to engage in the activity so long as they meet the HHS requirements as identified in the Declaration and are under the supervision of an authorized pharmacist.
In response to the current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Board has issued the following Press Releases:
PREP Act Amendment - Health Care Providers Authorized to Vaccinate against COVID-19 (March 15, 2021)
Iowa Department of Public Health Provides Covid-19 Monoclonal Antibodies Continuing Education at No Charge to Pharmacists (February 17, 2021)
COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibodies Webinar February 11, 2021 (January 26, 2021)
USP Launches Vaccine Handling Toolkit to Help Accelerate Delivery and Support Safe Handling of COVID-19 Vaccines (January 26, 2021)
Board of Pharmacy Response to HHS Guidance Related to Administration of Immunizations and COVID-19 Tests (November 3, 2020)
COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement (October 2, 2020)