COVID-19 UPDATE 3/21/2020 - Current Topics

COVID-19 UPDATE 3/21/2020

West Virginia Board of Pharmacy Current COVID-19 Update 3-21-2020

In response to the national public health emergency associated with the COVID-19 virus, the WV BOP is issuing the following information and reminders.  As this is a rapidly developing situation, additional information will be available on our website,, as it becomes available.

These waivers will CEASE to be in effect when the WV State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic ends.


New Temporary Rule Effective Immediately

The State of West Virginia is currently under a declared State of Emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic. The drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are thought to potentially be helpful in the treatment of Covid-19. These two drugs are also used in the treatment of other conditions unrelated to Covid-19.

Currently, both nationally and in West Virginia, some prescribers have begun writing prescriptions for these drugs for family, friends, and coworkers in anticipation of Covid-19 related illness. This is leading to a shortage of the drug both for patients prescribed the drug for issues unrelated to Covid-19 and potentially to individuals suffering from the effects of Covid-19.

In response to this issue, the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy proposed an emergency rule pursuant to its general rulemaking authority found in West Virginia Code§ 30-5-7, along with West Virginia Code §§ 29A-3-15 and 30-5-14. This rule seeks to ensure that these drugs are only dispensed to individuals currently in need of these drugs.  The rule has been approved by the WV Secretary of State and is Effective 3/21/2020.


§ 15-1-26.       Medication Limitations.


            26.1  No prescription for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine may be dispensed except if all the following apply:

                        26.1.a. The prescription bears a written diagnosis from the prescriber consistent with the evidence for its use;

                        26.1.b. The prescription is limited to no more than thirty (30) tablets, unless the patient was previously established on the medication prior to the effective date of this rule; and

                        26.1.c. No refills may be permitted unless a new prescription is furnished. This requirement does not apply to the patient previously established on the medication prior to the effective date of this rule.


The West Virginia Poison Center will be posting additional safety information on its Facebook Page.


WV DMV Regional Offices Closed

Because a controlled substance prescription requires a valid government-issued identification, it is important for pharmacies to be aware of the action taken by the WV Division of Motor Vehicles.

The DMV is extending the expiration date of any driver’s license, instructional permit, or vehicle registration with an expiration date in March or April of 2020 for three months from the date of expiration on the face of the document.


Utilize this “new” expiration date when assisting patients during this State of Emergency.


Guidance from SAMSHA COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Response and 42 CFR Part 2 Guidance

In response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is providing this guidance to ensure that substance use disorder treatment services are uninterrupted during this public health emergency. This is available at  They emphasis that providers make their own determinations whether a bona fide medical emergency exists for purposes of providing needed treatment to patients.

Page Updated: 12:00:00 AM