The members of the Missouri Board of Pharmacy convened for a meeting on October 16-17 in Columbia. The meeting included open sessions, which the public was free to attend,
and closed sessions, during which the Board conducted private or confidential business. I had the opportunity to attend the Board of Pharmacy meeting on October 16 and was able to witness the workings of the Board and the input from public attendees. Several important issues that affect Missouri pharmacists were discussed during this Board meeting.
Beginning with the pharmacist license renewal period this month, the Board of Pharmacy has reduced renewal fees. This reduction has been a welcome bestowment on licensees across the state, as renewal fees are significantly lower than they have been in recent years. The intern renewal fee has also been reduced this year for the intern license renewal due in December. A reduction in the renewal fee for technicians is in the works and should be established before technician licenses are due to be renewed in the spring. The Board of Pharmacy states that pharmacist renewal is currently at 76 percent. Board members encourage pharmacists who still need to renew their license not to wait until the end of this month. Processing of a license renewal takes several days, and a renewal submitted within the last week of this month is unlikely to be processed before the October 31 deadline. Starting in November, the Board of Pharmacy newsletter will be moved to a new format, including a section about the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). New resident and non-resident pharmacy applications have been published and are available at http://pr.mo.gov/pharmacists-forms.asp. The Board of Pharmacy requests that the old forms no longer be used.
Several topics for discussion included addressing continuing education (CE) for pharmacists and technicians. The Board of Pharmacy has historically accepted CE credits that have been approved by other states and will continue to do so. The Board states that immunization webinars published by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) are appropriate for CE and provide an effective source of CE relating to immunization to meet the drug administration CE requirement. The Board discussed utilization of NABP’s online CPE Monitor system for pharmacists and technicians to keep track of their continuing education credits. All Missouri licensees will be required to use the CPE Monitor online system to track their continuing education. Historically, the Board of Pharmacy annually audits the CPE (continued pharmacy education) of a random sample of 10% of licensees. Beginning in January 2015, utilization of the online CPE Monitor system will allow the board to audit up to 100% of licensees. Licensees who do not meet the requirements for continuing education will be contacted after this audit. Access to the CPE Monitor website and more information can be found by visiting http://www.nabp.net/programs/cpe-monitor/.
The Board discussed the question of shared pharmacy services and how to appropriately label prescriptions that are filled through Class J arrangement shared services. Much discussion was held around this topic, from both the Board and the public audience. The Board members have queried other state Boards of Pharmacy to establish current practices and to evaluate the best method for Missouri. During this discussion, the filling pharmacy was defined as the pharmacy at which the prescription was originally processed and the dispensing pharmacy was defined as the pharmacy that actually fills the prescription. Some states currently include only the name of the filling pharmacy on the prescription label, some states include only the name of the dispensing pharmacy, and other states include both. Some states also require that the patient be notified if his or her prescription(s) will be filled at a location other than the originating pharmacy. The questions of adequate space on labels for additional pharmacy names and the necessity to change Missouri prescription labeling requirements language were addressed. At the close of this topic, it was decided that language will be drafted with options for review, to be determined at a later date. No decision was finalized during the meeting.
Another topic of discussion at the meeting was the question of free or volunteer pharmacy services at charitable organizations. The issue was broached about whether pharmacists providing volunteer services that include the dispensing of medication should be working under a licensed pharmacy and how that pharmacy licensing would be executed, as the type does not fall under any of the current Missouri pharmacy permit class definitions. It was determined that establishments that dispense medications as a free or volunteer service should be registered as pharmacies. Since no current pharmacy class covers this type of pharmacy, the Board discussed adding a new class of pharmacy permits. This discussion led to the question of one-day events, such as health fairs, where medications are distributed. Such events would require the establishment of collaboration with a pharmacy that is licensed to distribute medications and can maintain records adequately. The Board intends to draft language that addresses these two scenarios of charitable pharmacy services. Until this change is established, no further action is needed for pharmacists providing volunteer services.
Mary Naeger, PharmD candidate, 2015
St. Louis College of Pharmacy
Missouri Division of Professional Registration. (2014). Board of Pharmacy. Retrieved from http://pr.mo.gov/pharmacists.asp
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. (2014). CPE Monitoring Service. Retrieved from http://www.nabp.net/programs/cpe-monitor/cpe-monitor-service