Emergency Medication Dispensing for Schools

It’s that time of year again. School is back in session. Students and their parents are crowding pharmacies to fill their IMG_4652medications. Extra bottles and labels are provided for daytime doses at the nurse’s office. Students aren’t the only ones approaching the pharmacy counter. School nurses themselves are preparing for school at the pharmacy asking to fill prescriptions for emergency asthma and anaphylaxis medications to be held on hand at the school.

The Issue:

Pharmacies have been receiving fill requests from school districts to fill albuterol inhalers and epinephrine pens for office use. These requests have been denied by some pharmacists which is causing frustration and confusion within the school district and among the nurses. Pharmacies seem to be worried that a drug distributor’s permit is required to legally dispense these medications. Due to the widespread confusion, multiple calls have been made to the Department of Health supporting the school nurses and inquiring how they can appropriately attain the necessary emergency medications to prepare for the school year.


The Board of Pharmacy and the relevant state legislation dictate that it is appropriate for a school nurse to maintain a supply of albuterol and epinephrine syringes at school. The nurse must be employed by the school district and they must be properly licensed as a nurse under chapter 335. To properly obtain the previously mentioned emergency medications, a prescription written by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner is required. The school district must be designated as the patient on the prescription and the nurse’s name must be included. The prescription may be filled at a licensed pharmacy without additional licensures or certifications.

The prescription shall be treated as any other authorized prescription that is brought into the pharmacy as long as it is has the appropriate information. There are no additional statues or regulations regarding this law. The Board of Pharmacy assures that no other documentation is required. For further information regarding legislation, please refer to sources cited below.

Kenna Marx

UMKC School of Pharmacy in Columbia

Pharm.D. Candidate 2016


Mo.gov. House Bill No. 1188. Accessed August 25th, 2015 at http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills121/biltxt/truly/HB1188T.htm

Mo.gov. Missouri Revised Statutes. Accessed August 25th, 2015 at http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/16700006301.HTML

Tweet with @TheMPA