COVID-19 UPDATE 4/28/20204/28/2020
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, www.wvbop.com, 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.
APRN Schedule II Prescribing
West Virginia APRNs with current prescriptive authority and an active DEA number, who are approved to practice in West Virginia during the State of Emergency, may refill Schedule II drugs of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, and antineoplastics, if the patient has been on these medications. Schedule II prescriptions are permitted to be refilled if the refill is required during the declared emergency.
NOTE: Each APRN individually must contact the DEA to notify them to add the Schedule II authorization. The prescribing physician’s name must be written on the prescription as well as the last date the prescription was filled. The Board of Pharmacy requests the name of practitioner and prescription number of the original prescription the APRN is refilling. The BOP suggests the APRN should notify that practitioner as well.
Pharmacies should attempt to verify that the DEA registration of the APRN includes the addition of Schedule IIs to the registration.
I saw the HHS announcement about pharmacists doing COVID-19 testing on 4/8/2020. Is this permissible in WV?
The BOP is currently working with the Governor’s office and the WV Bureau of Public Health to determine the appropriate pathway forward for WV. An order has been requested and is being discussed. Guidance will be coming regarding this topic as soon it is available.
If pharmacies are interested in providing COVID-19 testing or antibody testing and does not have a CLIA waiver, it is recommended that they pursue this as an initial step. WV CLIA Waiver Application
FDA warning regarding outpatient use of Hydroxychloroquine
On 4/24/2020 the FDA issued a drug safety communication cautioning against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems. This entire communication and guidance can be found here.
Immunization Statute Change and Emergency Rule
During the 2020 WV Legislative Session the immunization statute was updated to permit WV immunization registered pharmacists to provide all CDC/Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccinations to those 18 years and up and all CDC/ACIP recommended vaccinations to those 11-17 years with a physician prescription and parental consent. In preparation for a COVID-19 vaccine, as emergency rule was filed making this immediately active. The currently language can be found here.
Additionally, there are recent CDC Guidance for Pharmacies updates on 4/14/2020 that speak to provision of immunization. This includes:
- Postpone and reschedule delivery of some routine clinical preventive services, such as adult immunizations, which require face to face encounters. Pharmacy staff can ensure that patients seeking vaccinations are sent reminders to return to the pharmacy at a later date.