Board of Pharmacy Response to Governor's Proclamation

Date: 
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

On June 25, 2021, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a new Proclamation of Disaster Emergency. In this Proclamation, Governor Reynolds extends much of the regulatory relief which applies to the practice of pharmacy, but provides for an expected end to the relief at the conclusion of this Proclamation. 

In Section Forty-Three, Governor Reynolds briefly extends the temporary suspension of Iowa Code § 155A.32 to allow a pharmacist to engage in therapeutic drug product substitution pursuant to Board guidance. This suspension expires at midnight on June 30, 2021. Beginning July 1, 2021, all statutory requirements will be enforceable as it relates to drug product substitution.

In Section Forty-Seven, Governor Reynolds extends the temporary suspension of administrative rules which prohibit the practice of a pharmacist or technician trainee after the license or registration has expired. Iowans should not expect this suspension to be further extended beyond July 25, 2021.

  • Only through July 25, 2021, a pharmacist whose license has been inactive or expired for no more than 5 years may continue to engage in the practice of pharmacy with the inactive or lapsed license. Be reminded that the Governor’s action does not permit pharmacists whose licenses have been voluntarily surrendered or revoked to return to practice. A pharmacist returning to practice pursuant to this authorization does not need to contact the Board.

  • Technician Trainees whose registration expires between March 18, 2020 and July 25, 2021, and who are unable to sit for the national technician certification exam are authorized to continue practicing as a technician trainee until such time as the trainee is able to take the national certification exam. 

    • The Board has been made aware that Pearson VUE-owned testing centers have been reopened, at full or near-full capacity, and that PTCB has initiated online testing options that include a remote proctor. 

    • The Board expects that technician trainees will make every effort to get scheduled for the exam at the earliest available testing site within 100 miles, including via remote proctoring. Technician trainees whose registration will expire through July 25, 2021, and who are unable to schedule an exam, including via online proctoring, must notify the Board of the barrier(s) to testing by email to melissa.carstens@iowa.gov.

    • As long as a technician is able to demonstrate a barrier to test, the Board will exercise enforcement discretion and allow technicians subject to the Governor’s Proclamations and Board guidance to continue working as a technician. 

    • In the event that a technician fails a national certification exam after the technician’s registration has expired, the technician will not be authorized to perform the duties of a technician until the individual successfully passes the exam and registers with the Board as a certified pharmacy technician.

    • As of July 26, 2021, a technician trainee will have until August 24, 2021 (30 days) to attain national technician certification and become registered with the board as a certified pharmacy technician. On August 25, 2021, all trainee registrations which expired during the Proclamation period will be changed to “expired” status and such trainees will no longer be able to practice as a pharmacy technician. 

    • A technician trainee who is unable to attain national technician certification and whose registration is expired is not authorized to practice as a pharmacy technician but may register as a pharmacy support person and modify activities accordingly. 

In Section Forty-Eight, Governor Reynolds extends the temporary suspension of administrative rules which require in-person continuing education as a condition of license renewal when such requirements cannot be satisfied due to the disaster emergency. Board rules do not require in-person continuing education for pharmacist license renewal. Iowans should not expect this suspension to be further extended beyond July 25, 2021.

As a reminder, pharmacists who had a license expiration date of June 30, 2020, have until June 30, 2021 to renew and complete the continuing education required for the 2020 license renewal. 

A pharmacist who has a license expiration date of June 30, 2021, will have until August 24, 2021 (30 days after the expected July 25, 2021 end of this relief) to renew without penalty and to complete the continuing education required for the 2021 license renewal.

In Section Forty-Nine, Governor Reynolds extends the temporary suspension of administrative rules which apply to professional license and registration renewal during the  period of this disaster emergency. Individual licensees or registrants whose license or registration expires during this emergency period (March 18, 2020 through July 25, 2021) may continue to practice after the license or registration has expired if they are unable to renew the license or registration. Iowans should not expect this suspension to be further extended beyond July 25, 2021. The Board is continuing to process license and registration renewals and licensees and registrants are encouraged to utilize the Board’s online services for renewal. The Board will not assess late penalty fees for licenses and registrations which expire between March 18 and July 25, 2021 if they are renewed (or a renewal application is received in the Board office) by August 24, 2021. On August 25, 2021, any license or registration which expired during the Proclamation period which has not been renewed will be changed to “expired” status.

In Section Fifty-One, Governor Reynolds extends the temporary suspension of administrative rules which prohibit a pharmacist who is licensed in another state from engaging in the practice of pharmacy in Iowa prior to obtaining an Iowa pharmacist license due to requirements which are not able to be satisfied due to this disaster emergency. Iowans should not expect this suspension to be further extended beyond July 25, 2021. 

  • A pharmacist who is actively licensed in another state and who wishes to practice pharmacy in Iowa during this emergency period without first obtaining an Iowa pharmacist license: shall have obtained temporary authorization through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Passport Program. A pharmacist who has previously obtained an NABP Passport (though the Program will cease operations on June 30 and change all statuses to “inactive”) may continue to practice in Iowa only through July 25, 2021. As of July 26, 2021, any pharmacist working in an Iowa pharmacy must hold an active Iowa pharmacist license.

  • A pharmacist who is seeking to obtain an Iowa pharmacist license via license transfer: shall complete the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy License Transfer Application. Upon submission of a completed application through July 25, 2021, the Board may issue a pharmacist license and will temporarily defer the completion of the MPJE-Iowa edition examination, unless the applicant meets all other conditions for a temporary license.

    • The licensee shall successfully complete the MPJE-Iowa edition examination no later than October 24, 2021. 

    • Failure of the licensee to timely or successfully complete the MPJE-Iowa edition examination within the prescribed time may result in license rescission.

Pursuant to the Governor’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, all regulatory relief will end no later than July 25, 2021 and all current statutory or regulatory requirements will be enforceable as of July 26, 2021 except as provided herein.

 

Printed from the Iowa Board of Pharmacy website on September 17, 2021 at 10:26am.