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 March 7, 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)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (June 26, 2020)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (May 27, 2020)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (April 29, 2020)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (April 6, 2020)
Board of Pharmacy Response to Governor’s Proclamation (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 Statement on Enforcement Discretion 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 Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19 (updated February 8, 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 Joint Statement.

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 Guidance, the Board has initiated participation in the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) Passport Program. 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 March 7, 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 HERE (updated February 8, 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 March 7, 2021).

State Medical Director issues PPE Shortage Order

On April 10, 2020, Dr. Caitlin Pedati, State Medical Director and Epidemiologist, issued this PPE Shortage Order 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 guidance to pharmacists and pharmacies for conducting testing for COVID-19. As authorized under HHS Guidance (issued April 8, 2020) and the PREP Act, pharmacists can independently order and administer COVID-19 tests, including serology tests, which have been issued FDA Emergency Use Authorization. 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 February 5, 2021 which extended the provisions and is currently scheduled to expire March 7, 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 March 7, 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 March 7, 2021, the license or registration shall be considered active. Beginning April 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 April 27, 2020 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by Governor Reynolds, the Board issued Guidance 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 FAQs 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 HERE (updated February 8, 2021).

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.

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: 

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)
FDA Revokes Emergency Use Authorization for Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine (June 15, 2020)
Iowa Board of Pharmacy Emergency Pharmacist Licenses (May 12, 2020)
PTCB Exams Available via Online Proctoring (May 6, 2020)
Distribution of COVID-19 Test Kits into Iowa (April  21, 2020)
CDC Updates Guidance for Pharmacies during the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 16, 2020)
FDA: Safely Using Hand Sanitizer (March 31, 2020)
Board of Pharmacy Response to DEA Guidance for Oral Schedule II Emergency Prescriptions (March 30, 2020)
COVID-19 Health Care Provider Webinar (March 27, 2020)
Iowa Joint Board Statement regarding Hydroxychloroquine/Chloroquine/Azithromycin (March 26, 2020)
FDA Warns Consumers of Unauthorized Fraudulent COVID-19 Test Kits (March 23, 2020)
COVID-19 Information (March 23, 2020)
Restricted Public Access (March 20, 2020)
What should my pharmacy do if we have limited supplies of compounding garb? (March 9, 2020)

Resources:

DEA Controlled Substances Prescribing Tree
FDA CDER COVID-19 Webpages

Printed from the Iowa Board of Pharmacy website on March 07, 2021 at 11:05pm.