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Iowa Board of Pharmacy

As of July 1, 2023, licensing and other health and occupational licenses will become part of the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing (DIAL) as a new organizational structure for state government goes into effect. Government departments and agencies that provide related services or have similar business functions are aligning to better serve Iowans.

COVID-19 Information and Updates

End to the federal Public Health Emergency - May 11, 2023 (updated July 27, 2023)

The  federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 expired on May 11, 2023. 

After the expiration of the PHE, certain authorizations continue to be in place relating to immunizations and therapeutics under other federal and state authorities. Specifically:

  • Under section 564 of the FD&C Act and the EUA declaration by the Secretary of HHS, immunizations and therapeutics authorized for emergency use by FDA may still be utilized. 
  • Immunization administration by pharmacists: 
    • PREP Act, 11th amendment, continues the authorization of administration of COVID and seasonal influenza vaccinations to patients aged 3 years and older. Ordering practitioner: pharmacist
    • Statewide Standing Order, authorized by Dr. Robert Kruse, authorizes administration of the COVID vaccine to patients 6 months and older (“eligible individual” based on the age identified by the FDA approval or emergency authorization). Ordering practitioner: Dr. Kruse
    • Statewide Protocol, authorized by the Board, authorizes administration of the COVID vaccine to patients 18 years and older. Ordering practitioner: pharmacist
  • Therapeutics administration by pharmacists: 

Information about Ordering and Administering COVID-19 Therapeutics by Pharmacies (Updated July 7, 2022)

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 the PREP Act, subsection 2,  the pharmacy must maintain documentation of the order/administration and notify the patient’s primary care provider. 

Pharmacists engaging in the ordering and administration of COVID-19 therapeutics must do so in compliance with the FDA-approved or emergency authorized labeling.

Map of providers which have been allocated therapeutic products

Subscribe to the IDPH weekly therapeutics information brief

Additional information can be found on the Iowa HHS COVID-19 Therapeutics webpage, including a helpful COVID-19 Therapeutics Table.

Federal HHS Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Transition Roadmap
FDA FAQs: What happens to EUAs when a public health emergency ends?

COVID-19 Vaccine Administration and Testing in Pharmacies

COVID-19 vaccine administration authority for pharmacies originates from three separate and distinct pathways:

The Department of Public Health has indicated that, at some point in the future, the Statewide Standing Order for vaccine administration will be discontinued. At that point, pharmacists will need to act as the authorizing provider (either under the Board’s Statewide Protocol or the PREP Act) to continue providing COVID-19 vaccines. To prepare for this eventuality, and to ensure continuity of third-party billing, please consider completing the following as soon as possible:

  • Obtain a National Provider Identifier
  • Enroll in Iowa Medicaid as a provider (to continue offering vaccines to Medicaid recipients),
  • Once enrolled with Iowa Medicaid, complete the credentialing process with the Managed Care Organizations

COVID-19 testing authority for pharmacies originates from two separate and distinct pathways:

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 March 3, 2022). 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 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.