Like many states, Florida requires consultant pharmacists to conduct on-site monthly visits to the facilities to which they provide pharmacy services. The visits are required for Modified Class IIB Pharmacy Permits, Special ALF Pharmacy Permits, and Special ESRD Pharmacy Permits. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, consultant pharmacists—particularly those visiting assisted living facilities—were concerned about off-site consultant pharmacists going from facility to facility and possibly increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to pharmacists, staff, and residents in the process.
The Board of Pharmacy heard the concerns with safeguarding the health of both pharmacists and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic and, respecting the implementation of the Division of Emergency Management’s Order 20-006 prohibiting certain persons from visiting assisted living facilities, took immediate action. On March 19, 2020, the Board of Pharmacy adopted an emergency rule that relieves off-site consultant pharmacists from visiting the facilities. The rule was designed to allow some flexibility and does not prohibit the consultant pharmacist from visiting the facilities, so the facility and pharmacist may agree to pharmacist’s visit in certain circumstances. The rule does not relieve on-site consultant pharmacists of the on-site visit requirement, so if the pharmacists were told to leave the facility, such pharmacists may need to seek relief in other ways, though we would expect the regulatory authorities to be reasonable in such situations. Continue Reading