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IPA Renews Request for Executive Order and Makes Additional Recommendations to Governor Holcomb

By Darren Covington, IPA Executive Vice President on 3/23/2020

The Indiana Pharmacists Association has renewed its request to Governor Holcomb requesting he execute an emergency order to assist pharmacists in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. IPA has also made additional suggestions based upon feedback from the membership.  We are grateful that Governor Holcomb issued an executive order permitting licensed, out-of-state pharmacists and technicians be permitted to work in Indiana, and allowing the Board of Pharmacy to suspend, modify or waive any rule that is detrimental to public health at this time.  IPA’s most recent request included the following recommended actions:

-Prohibit the prescribing of medications without a written diagnosis, mainly hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, for COVID-19 "prevention". 
-Permit a 90-day emergency refill for non-controlled substances. 
-Permit a 90-day emergency refill for controlled substances, classified as C3-5. At a minimum, we ask that anti-seizure medications that are controlled substances be included. 
-Permit a provisional license for pharmacy personnel who apply to be licensed in the state of Indiana, but are waiting on the results of a criminal background check. The company that completes the criminal background check is currently closed. 
-Permit a waiver for prescribing of opioids via telemedicine. The DEA has clarified that opioids may be prescribed via telemedicine methods during a public health emergency.
-Permit pharmacy technicians to enter a hospital pharmacy without a pharmacist present in the event a pharmacist is unavailable. This would be allowed during a public health emergency in order to retrieve emergency medications and medications used to fill automated dispensing cabinets. 
-Permit pharmacists to provide remote verification of dispensing functions performed by a technician without first obtaining a remote dispensing facility license or remote location permit.
- Permit a Medicaid waiver for patient self-testing to manage warfarin. Patients would be able to monitor and report their INR levels to the pharmacist for remote management.
-Permit pharmacists and technicians to work remotely to perform non-dispensing functions and loosening remote work from home requirements. 
-Suspend pharmacist/technician ratios in the event of a worker shortage
-Permit pharmacy activities (such as testing/vaccines) outside of the licensed pharmacy area
-Permit pharmacists to make therapeutic class substitutions in the event of drug shortages. 
-Suspend prior authorization in Medicaid to permit patients to receive drugs without delay.
- Permit pharmacists to provide approved therapies for COVID-19 pursuant to any standing order. 
-Permit pharmacists to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, once available.
- Waive Medicaid’s signature delivery requirement. 

If you are experiencing any regulatory hurdles in providing patient care, please email us at inpharm@indianapharmacists.org. As a reminder, IPA’s website has resource links on COVID-19 on the homepage. 


Darren R. Covington, J.D.
Executive Vice President
Indiana Pharmacists Association