Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 110. Board of Pharmacy
Chapter 20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Pharmacy

18VAC110-20-190. Prescription department enclosures; access to prescription department.

A. The prescription department of each pharmacy shall be provided with enclosures subject to the following conditions:

1. The enclosure shall be constructed in such a manner that it protects the prescription drugs from unauthorized entry and from pilferage at all times whether or not a pharmacist is on duty.

2. The enclosure shall be locked and alarmed at all times when a pharmacist is not on duty.

3. The enclosure shall be capable of being locked in a secure manner at any time the pharmacist on duty is not present in the prescription department.

B. The keys or other means of entry into a locked prescription department and the alarm access code shall be restricted to pharmacists practicing at the pharmacy and authorized by the PIC with the following exceptions:

1. The PIC or a pharmacist on duty, for emergency access, may place a key or other means of unlocking the prescription department and the alarm access code in a sealed envelope or other container with the pharmacist's signature across the seal in a safe or vault or other secured place within the pharmacy. This means of emergency access shall only be used to allow entrance to the prescription department by other pharmacists, or by a pharmacy technician in accordance with subsection E of this section. In lieu of the pharmacist's signature across a seal, the executive director for the board may approve other methods of securing the emergency access to the prescription department.

2. Pharmacy interns, pharmacy technicians, and other persons authorized by the PIC or pharmacist on duty may possess a key or other means of entry into a locked prescription department only when a pharmacist is on duty. Such key or other means of entry shall not allow entry when a pharmacist is not on duty.

C. The prescription department is restricted to pharmacists who are practicing at the pharmacy. Pharmacy interns, pharmacy technicians, and other persons designated by the pharmacist on duty may be allowed access by the pharmacist but only when the pharmacist is on duty. Each pharmacist while on duty shall be responsible for the security of the pharmacy, including provisions for effective control against theft or diversion of prescription drugs and devices.

D. A PIC or pharmacist on duty shall not permit access to the prescription department or controlled substances by a pharmacist, pharmacy intern, or pharmacy technician whose license or registration is currently suspended or revoked.

E. Upon a request by a patient to obtain an already-dispensed prescription, a pharmacy technician may enter the pharmacy for the sole purpose of retrieving filled prescriptions that have already been reviewed and certified for accuracy by a pharmacist and deemed ready for delivery to the patient if:

1. There is an unforeseen, unplanned absence of a pharmacist scheduled to work during regular prescription department hours;

2. Alternate pharmacist coverage cannot immediately be obtained;

3. The technician is accompanied by a member of the pharmacy's management or administration; and

4. All requirements of subsection F of this section are met.

F. Requirements for entry into the prescription department in the absence of a pharmacist.

1. The requirements for prescriptions awaiting delivery in subsection A of 18VAC110-20-200 are followed.

2. Prior to entry into the prescription department, the pharmacy technician shall obtain verbal permission from the PIC or another pharmacist regularly employed by that pharmacy to obtain and use the emergency key or other access and alarm access code and enter the pharmacy.

3. A record shall be made by the pharmacy technician of the entry to include the date and time of entry; the name and signature of the pharmacy technician; the name, title, and signature of the person accompanying the pharmacy technician; the pharmacist's name granting permission to enter and telephone number where the pharmacist was reached; the name of the patient initially requesting needed medication and the nature of the emergency; a listing of all prescriptions retrieved during that entry; and the time of exit and re-securing of the prescription department.

4. The pharmacy technician shall reseal the key and alarm access code after the pharmacy is re-secured, and the PIC shall have the alarm access code changed within 48 hours of such an entry and shall document that this has been accomplished on the record of entry.

5. All records related to entry by a pharmacy technician shall be maintained for a period of one year on premises.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3307 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR530-01-1 § 3.9, eff. October 25, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 9, Issue 4, eff. December 16, 1992; Volume 10, Issue 1, eff. November 4, 1993; Volume 11, Issue 21, eff. August 9, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 8, eff. February 3, 1999; Volume 20, Issue 23, eff. August 25, 2004; Volume 25, Issue 24, eff. September 2, 2009; Volume 31, Issue 20, eff. July 16, 2015.

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