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Highlights from the February Florida Board of Pharmacy Meeting (2019)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
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By Gary Dalin, Legal and Regulatory Council Member

Normally during the Rules Committee of the Board of Pharmacy, there is discussion and debate about a new rule that has been noticed in the Florida Administrative Weekly and is ready for adoption by the Board. However, at the February Rules Committee, the discussion centered on the type of future rules that might be coming regarding Pharmacy Automation and Pharmacy Technicians.

 

The Board agreed that technology should support the practice of pharmacy and not replace it by the technology providing better access for patients. Is the newer Automated Dispensing machines a delivery mechanism and if it is, should such technology be moved out of a traditional pharmacy setting with additional parameters around them? Should there be permits for the automated dispensing machine or should these machines be an extension of the pharmacy permit that is overseeing these machines? It was also discussed that these automated dispensing pharmacies should not have less accountability and should provide the same level of care as a community pharmacy does. Currently, Florida Statutes outlines the type of locations that may utilize automated dispensing machines. Anything outside of those areas will need legislation to include new areas where this automation may be utilized.

 

Regarding technicians, the Board agreed since they recently changed the ratio and supervision definition of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, that the Board should look towards other states as to what other activities can a pharmacy technician do in supporting the pharmacist. They discussed should there be different educational requirements of a technician relative to the functions that they perform. The same holds true for certification of pharmacy technicians. The Board also will be looking at a recent pharmacy technician stakeholders conference where various new duties and roles were discussed.

 

Other highlights from the Board Meeting was that Chairman Mesaros appointed three Board members to meet with Board members from the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine to review and possibly add to the list of medications that can be prescribed by a pharmacist under Rule 64B16-27.220.

 

The Board rejected a request from the Florida Pharmacy Association to request to open up Rule 64B16-27.4001 (Supervision of Pharmacy Technicians) on the basis that when the rule was being developed, there were no public comments or challenges brought forward to the Board. However, the Board did state to FPA to bring back specific concerns and proposed language that addresses those concerns.

 

The Board approved a declaratory statement that reinforces the penicillin skin testing by Health First pharmacists were under the purview of Rule 64B16-27.830. Drug Therapy Management.

 

The Board will convene a subcommittee of interested parties to address Rule 64B16.27.797 in March, 2019 as it relates to the process of lyophilization in pharmacies in Florida. The Board inspectors need directions as to compliance of sterilization and compounding using lyophilization even though EGMF should be utilized by pharmacies doing this type of sterile products preparation.

 

Jennifer Wenhold, MSW, was introduced as the Acting Executive Director for the Board of Pharmacy.

 

The Board of Pharmacy will be holding conference calls during the upcoming legislative session to review and voice support or concerns with bills that will or could affect pharmacies in Florida.

 

The Board listened to a consumer about an issue that she had regarding being forced to utilize a mail-order pharmacy and an issue with a temperature excursion that happened to the medication for her son, which could have caused her son’s transplant to be rejected. The Board’s attorney stated they have authority in disciplining pharmacists or permit holders but very little jurisdiction over mandatory conditions for drugs being delivered, since that falls under F.S. 499 which is under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.

 


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