New PQAC guidance: Access to drugs stored outside of the pharmacy

December 17, 2020

In response to concerns over the recently adopted rule concerning drugs stored outside of pharmacies, the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (PQAC) issued new guidance to clarify how it will enforce the rule. The current rule states that drugs stored outside of the pharmacy may only be accessed by licensed health care professionals and nursing students. Unfortunately, the rule as-written creates challenges for hospitals and health care facilities.

Because of this, PQAC announced that it will permit unlicensed employees to access drugs stored outside of the pharmacy under specified conditions. The employees must be acting within the scope of their job duties and organizational policies (“accessing drugs for the purposes of supply chain management”) and not accessing controlled substances or drug products that are part of a prescription order. PQAC will be conducting permanent rulemaking in the near future to correct the rule and prevent future issues. The full guidance is available online.


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