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 had temporarily suspended a number of regulatory provisions applicable to a number of professions, including the practice of pharmacy. The Proclamations eased administrative rules relating to continuing education, renewal of licenses, internship requirements, background checks, pharmacist licenses, technician trainee registrations, and exam testing requirements. On July 23, 2021, Governor Reynolds signed a new Proclamation of Disaster Emergency in which she did not extend any of the regulatory relief of prior Proclamations. As such, all regulatory requirements are reinstated and enforceable. Accordingly, the Board will discontinue its position of enforcement discretion relating to pharmacy practice.
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (July 26, 2021)
Board of Pharmacy's Response to Governor's Proclamation (June 29, 2021)
Board of Pharmacy’s Response to Governor’s Proclamation (June 1, 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 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 September 22, 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.
NABP Passport Program for pharmacists - Updated Information
In response to the Governor’s July 23, 2021 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency in which none of the regulatory relief for the practice of pharmacy was further extended, any pharmacist who is working in an Iowa pharmacy as of July 26, 2021, must hold an active Iowa pharmacist license. NABP Passport authorization is no longer valid.
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.
License/Registration renewal verification - Updated information
The Governor signed a new Proclamation on July 23, 2021 in which she did not further extend the regulatory relief of prior Proclamations. As of July 26, 2021, any individual licensee or registrant whose license/registration expired between March 18, 2020 and July 25, 2021 and did not renew during the Proclamation will have until August 24, 2021 to renew without penalty. On August 25, 2021, any license or registration that expired during the proclamation period and was not renewed will be updated to “expired” status.
Board provides Guidance relating to emergency pharmacist licenses
As of May 28, 2021, recently graduated pharmacist-interns are no longer eligible for an emergency pharmacist license and shall be required to complete all licensure requirements, including both examinations and background check, prior to issuance of a pharmacist license.
Pharmacists who are licensed in another state seeking license transfer into Iowa continue to be eligible for a temporary pharmacist license while they prepare to take the jurisprudence examination.
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 adopts emergency rules for Technician administration of immunizations
On July 14, 2021, the Board voted to adopt and file emergency rulemaking which identifies the minimum training and education for a pharmacy technician to engage in the administration of immunizations when delegated by a supervising pharmacist. The training and education requirements mirror those identified by the United States Health and Human Services (HHS) in its authorization for technicians to administer vaccinations. Technicians who have successfully completed the training and education requirements will be authorized to administer any immunization delegated by the supervising pharmacist and will not be limited to those provided by the HHS order. The rulemaking was effective July 14, 2021.
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. 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.
Information about Ordering and Administering COVID-19 Therapeutics by Pharmacies
On September 13, 2021, HHS published a 9th Amendment to its PREP Act Declaration. In this amendment, HHS authorized qualified pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 therapeutics which have been approved or authorized by FDA which are administered orally, intramuscularly, or subcutaneously. The amendment also authorized qualified pharmacy interns and technicians to administer COVID-19 therapeutics. The HHS authorization requires a pharmacist to be readily and immediately available to any qualified technician administering COVID-19 therapeutics. Individuals who will be administering therapeutics via intramuscular or subcutaneous routes must hold current CPR certification and complete an ACPE-approved practical training program which includes:
- Hands-on injection technique,
- Clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of COVID-19 therapeutics,
- Recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to COVID-19 therapeutics, and
- Any additional training required by FDA.
Following the ordering and administration of a COVID-19 therapeutic, pursuant to Iowa Code section 155A.46, subsection 2, the pharmacy must maintain documentation of the order/administration and notify the patient’s primary care provider.
The Board issued this Guidance that provides additional information.
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)