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News & Press: Legislative and Regulatory News

3-24-2020 COVID-19 Update

Tuesday, March 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gabrielle Webster
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Continuing Saga of COVID-19

We are introducing this communication to share information related to the coronavirus in Pennsylvania. Sharing ideas and opportunities to learn from others within our industry, as information for your facility’s operational consideration.  

Hopefully, this information supplements what you already have; if not, we encourage you to email us with things you would like to see included (it could be a one-time status or a continuous reporting need, such as the current rate of exposures in PA compared to the nation or if those rates are rising or finally declining).    

During this crisis, PSHP will be sending a daily 7:00 AM e-mail to all PSHP members and Directors of Pharmacy throughout Pennsylvania and hope to make this information useful and applicable to PA pharmacists.

FIRST: Know that the Governor’s waivers concerning the Board of Pharmacy include everything posted yesterday and everything posted on our PSHP Website. The Press Releases did NOT include everything and actually had misrepresented one of the waivers.  Missing was the waiver about adjusting PPE practices and wrongly mentioned was that pharmacists did NOT have to be present for a pharmacy technician or a student to dispense a medication. These are being corrected.

SECOND: There has been some great information shared via other email blasts, some of which are worthy of repeating here: information from the CDC, USP, other states, a Supplier’s list of PPE and possible vendors, please let us know any other suggestions, source, and work-arounds you may be trying. The goal here is to provide you value without information overload or redundancy.

THIRD: Here are a couple of ideas and thoughts to get us started, please read and send us your thoughts.

  • Related to the use / reuse of PPE:
    a. Are you working to launder and reuse some of your PPE?  
    b. Where are you obtaining these?  
    c. How are you cleaning?
  • Related to one of the Governor’s Waivers:  If you are a needing to ship prescriptions out of state (ex. specialty medications, prescriptions, etc.) are you experiencing problems with other State Boards of Pharmacy? Have they / should they issue waivers, esp. for neighboring states?
  • Are you considering opening any temporary pharmacy locations in a closed facility, alternative locations such as a hotel, a previously closed building, or a new one, etc. Should / does PSHP need to contact the SBOP to request a waiver to allow expedited review / approval? What about a temporary pharmacy at these locations? Has the DOH provided guidance on opening temporary facilities that may include a pharmacy?
  • In your outpatient pharmacies are you seeing prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine from physicians for personal use or for colleagues?  What actions have you taken to address? Should the state take action to limit outpatient use to FDA approved indications so these patients continue to have access to their chronic medications.
  • Everyone is being impacted by this crisis.  Not only the sick, the exposed, and the healthcare workers; but all of our students, residents, faculty, and staff. How is the pandemic impacting the training of students and residents? What actions have you taken to utilize students and residents as pharmacist-extenders in your practices? What are you hearing from schools that allow creativity in the use of students? What education, training, and reassurances are you providing to your staff?  Other healthcare workers (front-line, ancillary, and support staff)?   
    *All look to pharmacy for this basic education and training.  Step up and Lead! 
     **Share your educational programs and in-services with others on this list. 
Other suggestions or related issues?

To make this information meaningful, please provide us feedback on what you would like to see in this BLAST and all are invited to please contribute information to post by submitting your information to us via email.  

Disclaimer:  The information provided in these e-mail blasts is intended to be shared across all Directors of Pharmacy in Pennsylvania and our PSHP members for individual determination, to assist facilities with product and/or service alternatives (suggestions only) as appropriate for Peer Review.  It is not intended to be interpreted as a mandate or as a PSHP-supported modification nor as an acceptable regulation alternative.  For this the PA State Board of Pharmacy has the final authority.

Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists
PO Box 22520, Philadelphia, PA 19110 | (978) 364-5097 | 

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