Vol. 31 Iss. 20 - June 01, 2015

Chapter 20
Fast-Track Regulation

Title of Regulation: 18VAC110-20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Pharmacy (amending 18VAC110-20-10, 18VAC110-20-500).

Statutory Authority: §§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3307 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Hearing Information: No public hearings are scheduled.

Public Comment Deadline: July 1, 2015.

Effective Date: July 16, 2015.

Agency Contact: Caroline Juran, RPh, Executive Director, Board of Pharmacy, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23233-1463, telephone (804) 367-4416, FAX (804) 527-4472, or email

Basis: Section 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia establishes the general powers and duties of health regulatory boards, including promulgation of regulations that are reasonable and necessary to administer effectively the regulatory system.

The specific authority to control prescription drugs in the Commonwealth is found in Chapters 33 (§ 54.1-3300 et seq.) and 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Purpose: The purpose of the regulatory action is to facilitate the work of emergency medical services (EMS) providers while protecting the integrity and security of drugs administered to patients. Amended regulations will expedite the process of dispensing and exchanging drug kits essential to the work of EMS providers, which will result in less disruption for health care providers at the hospital who are focused on patient care and less down time at the hospital for EMS providers who need to be available to answer emergency calls in the community.

While the board has worked on expediting and facilitating the drug kit process, it has also focused on more specificity about records and security. All schedules of drugs are available to EMS providers in accordance with the protocol of their medical directors. Hence, there is opportunity for diversion or adulteration that could threaten the health and safety of a community. Regulations relating to drugs dispensed to an EMS agency are promulgated by the board, rather than by the Department of Health, which oversees EMS agencies. Therefore, it is important for the board to adopt rules that are consistent and clear for the wide variety of EMS providers across the state.

Rationale for Using Fast-Track Process: The amendments have been developed in consultation with EMS providers and hospital pharmacists who are involved with EMS agencies. Drafts were circulated and discussed over a series of meetings, so the board believes consensus has been achieved and the proposed rules will not be controversial. Therefore, the board has adopted the proposed changes by a fast-track rulemaking action.

Substance: The amendments to 18VAC110-20-500 regarding drugs carried by emergency medical service agencies:

1. Clarify that the kits carried by EMS agencies usually include "devices" in addition to "drugs."

2. Specify how a kit is to be sealed by the hospital pharmacy to ensure detection if the seal is broken. Many kits now utilize a mechanism for sealing that can only be resealed or relocked by the pharmacy once the kit is opened.

3. Clarify that the written protocol for administration of drugs or devices, which has been signed by the medication director for EMS, has to be maintained by the pharmacy participating in a kit exchange.

4. Allow the reconciliation of the record of drugs administered with the contents of an opened kit to be performed by a pharmacy technician or nurse in lieu of the pharmacist.

5. Clarify what records have to be maintained for one year, and specify the content of the record for filling and verifying the kit and for exchange of the kit.

6. Set out the requirement for destruction of partially used drugs and for which two persons are allowed to witness the destruction.

7. Add "irrigation solutions" to intravenous solutions as controlled substances that may be stored separately from the kit.

8. Clarify that any drug or device that shows evidence of tampering or damage must be removed from the kit and replaced.

9. Allow the hospital pharmacy to authorize the exchange of the kit in the emergency department of the hospital. If the kit contains Schedules II-V drugs, the exchange has to be handled by a licensed nurse, prescriber, or pharmacist.

10. Allow a one-to-one exchange of Schedule VI drugs or devices provided the agency or the jurisdiction has obtained a controlled substance registration to authorize possession of the drugs not dispensed by a pharmacy. Schedule II-V drugs must be kept separate and sealed and are not eligible for a one-to-one exchange. This new provision was made in response to requests from EMS agencies that are allowed by board interpretation to perform a one-to-one exchange of Schedule VI drugs or devices.

Issues: The primary advantage to the public is the focus on patient care in hospitals and the availability of emergency services by removing any unnecessary barriers and expediting the dispensing and exchanging of drug kits for EMS agencies. There are no disadvantages.

While there are no direct advantages or disadvantages to the agency or the Commonwealth, more specific rules for drug kits will facilitate compliance and consistency, which is advantageous to the Department of Health and the board in their oversight responsibilities.

Department of Planning and Budget's Economic Impact Analysis:

Summary of the Proposed Amendments to Regulation. The Board of Pharmacy (Board) proposes to update its regulations to reflect some of the current procedures followed in practice.

Result of Analysis. The benefits likely exceed the costs for all proposed changes.

Estimated Economic Impact. The Board proposes to update its regulations to reflect some of the current procedures followed in practice. The proposed changes include 1) allowing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers to exchange Schedule VI drugs or devices one-for-one from the drug stock in the emergency department or from an automated drug dispensing device rather than replacing the entire kit from the pharmacy, and 2) providing more specificity about the records for the kit containing drugs and about which practitioners may reconcile contents of the kit or witness destruction of drugs.

According to the Department of Health Professions, all of the proposed changes are already followed in practice. Thus, no significant economic effect is expected other than the benefits garnered from improving the clarity of the regulation.

Businesses and Entities Affected. The proposed amendments primarily apply to EMS agencies and hospital pharmacies. In May of 2014, there were 673 licensed EMS agencies in Virginia.

Localities Particularly Affected. The regulations apply throughout the Commonwealth.

Projected Impact on Employment. No significant impact on employment is expected.

Effects on the Use and Value of Private Property. No significant impact on the use and value of private property is expected.

Small Businesses: Costs and Other Effects. The proposed amendments are not anticipated to have costs and other affects on businesses.

Small Businesses: Alternative Method that Minimizes Adverse Impact. The proposed amendments are not anticipated to have costs and other affects on small businesses.

Real Estate Development Costs. No significant impact on real estate development costs is expected.

Legal Mandate. General: The Department of Planning and Budget (DPB) has analyzed the economic impact of this proposed regulation in accordance with § 2.2-4007.04 of the Code of Virginia and Executive Order Number 17 (2014). Section 2.2-4007.04 requires that such economic impact analyses determine the public benefits and costs of the proposed amendments. Further the report should include but not be limited to:

• the projected number of businesses or other entities to whom the proposed regulation would apply,

• the identity of any localities and types of businesses or other entities particularly affected, the projected number of persons and employment positions to be affected,

• the projected costs to affected businesses or entities to implement or comply with the regulation, and

• the impact on the use and value of private property.

Small Businesses: If the proposed regulation will have an adverse effect on small businesses, § 2.2-4007.04 requires that such economic impact analyses include:

• an identification and estimate of the number of small businesses subject to the proposed regulation,

• the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other administrative costs required for small businesses to comply with the proposed regulation, including the type of professional skills necessary for preparing required reports and other documents,

• a statement of the probable effect of the proposed regulation on affected small businesses, and

• a description of any less intrusive or less costly alternative methods of achieving the purpose of the proposed regulation.

Additionally, pursuant to § 2.2-4007.1, if there is a finding that a proposed regulation may have an adverse impact on small business, the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules is notified at the time the proposed regulation is submitted to the Virginia Register of Regulations for publication. This analysis shall represent DPB's best estimate for the purposes of public review and comment on the proposed regulation.

Agency's Response to Economic Impact Analysis: The Board of Pharmacy concurs with the analysis of the Department of Planning and Budget.


The amendments (i) authorize a one-to-one exchange of Schedule VI drugs or devices to permit emergency services providers to replace those drugs or devices directly from drug stock in the emergency department or from an automated drug dispensing device; (ii) specify the content of the records for the kit containing drugs and devices; (iii) specify which practitioners may reconcile contents of the kit to the administration record or may witness destruction of drugs; and (iv) authorize the pharmacist-in-charge of a hospital pharmacy to allow the exchange of the kit in the emergency department.

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC110-20-10. Definitions.

In addition to words and terms defined in §§ 54.1-3300 and 54.1-3401 of the Code of Virginia, the following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"ACPE" means the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

"Acquisition" of an existing entity permitted, registered or licensed by the board means (i) the purchase or transfer of all or substantially all of the assets of the entity or of any corporation that owns or controls the entity; (ii) the creation of a partnership by a sole proprietor or change in partnership composition; (iii) the acquiring of 50% or more of the outstanding shares of voting stock of a corporation owning the entity or of the parent corporation of a wholly owned subsidiary owning the entity, except that this shall not apply to any corporation the voting stock of which is actively traded on any securities exchange or in any over-the-counter market; or (iv) the merger of a corporation owning the entity, or of the parent corporation of a wholly owned subsidiary owning the entity, with another business or corporation.

"Actively reports" means reporting all dispensing errors and analyses of such errors to a patient safety organization as soon as practical or at least within 30 days of identifying the error.

"Alternate delivery site" means a location authorized in 18VAC110-20-275 to receive dispensed prescriptions on behalf of and for further delivery or administration to a patient.

"Analysis" means a review of the findings collected and documented on each dispensing error, assessment of the cause and any factors contributing to the dispensing error, and any recommendation for remedial action to improve pharmacy systems and workflow processes to prevent or reduce future errors.

"Beyond-use date" means the date beyond which the integrity of a compounded, repackaged, or dispensed drug can no longer be assured and as such is deemed to be adulterated or misbranded as defined in §§ 54.1-3461 and 54.1-3462 of the Code of Virginia.

"Board" means the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

"CE" means continuing education as required for renewal of licensure by the Board of Pharmacy.

"CEU" means a continuing education unit awarded for credit as the equivalent of 10 contact hours.

"Chart order" means a lawful order for a drug or device entered on the chart or in a medical record of a patient by a prescriber or his designated agent.

"Compliance packaging" means packaging for dispensed drugs which that is comprised of a series of containers for solid oral dosage forms and which is designed to assist the user in administering or self-administering the drugs in accordance with directions for use.

"Contact hour" means the amount of credit awarded for 60 minutes of participation in and successful completion of a continuing education program.

"Correctional facility" means any prison, penitentiary, penal facility, jail, detention unit, or other facility in which persons are incarcerated by government officials.

"DEA" means the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Dispensing error" means one or more of the following discovered after the final verification by the pharmacist, regardless of whether the patient received the drug:

1. Variation from the prescriber's prescription drug order, including but not limited to:

a. Incorrect drug;

b. Incorrect drug strength;

c. Incorrect dosage form;

d. Incorrect patient; or

e. Inadequate or incorrect packaging, labeling, or directions.

2. Failure to exercise professional judgment in identifying and managing:

a. Known therapeutic duplication;

b. Known drug-disease contraindications;

c. Known drug-drug interactions;

d. Incorrect drug dosage or duration of drug treatment;

e. Known drug-allergy interactions;

f. A clinically significant, avoidable delay in therapy; or

g. Any other significant, actual, or potential problem with a patient's drug therapy.

3. Delivery of a drug to the incorrect patient.

4. Variation in bulk repackaging or filling of automated devices, including but not limited to:

a. Incorrect drug;

b. Incorrect drug strength;

c. Incorrect dosage form; or

d. Inadequate or incorrect packaging or labeling.

"Drug donation site" means a permitted pharmacy that specifically registers with the board for the purpose of receiving or redispensing eligible donated prescription drugs pursuant to § 54.1-3411.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Electronic prescription" means a written prescription that is generated on an electronic application in accordance with 21 CFR Part 1300 and is transmitted to a pharmacy as an electronic data file.

"EMS" means emergency medical services.

"Expiration date" means that date placed on a drug package by the manufacturer or repacker beyond which the product may not be dispensed or used.

"Facsimile (FAX) prescription" means a written prescription or order which is transmitted by an electronic device over telephone lines which sends the exact image to the receiver (pharmacy) in a hard copy form.

"FDA" means the United States Food and Drug Administration.

"Floor stock" means a supply of drugs that have been distributed for the purpose of general administration by a prescriber or other authorized person pursuant to a valid order of a prescriber.

"Foreign school of pharmacy" means a school outside the United States and its territories offering a course of study in basic sciences, pharmacology, and pharmacy of at least four years in duration resulting in a degree that qualifies a person to practice pharmacy in that country.

"Forgery" means a prescription that was falsely created, falsely signed, or altered.

"FPGEC certificate" means the certificate given by the Foreign Pharmacy Equivalency Committee of NABP that certifies that the holder of such certificate has passed the Foreign Pharmacy Equivalency Examination and a credential review of foreign training to establish educational equivalency to board approved schools of pharmacy, and has passed approved examinations establishing proficiency in English.

"Generic drug name" means the nonproprietary name listed in the United States Pharmacopeia-National Formulary (USP-NF) or in the USAN United States Adopted Names (USAN) and the USP Dictionary of Drug Names.

"Hospital" or "nursing home" means those facilities as defined in Title 32.1 of the Code of Virginia or as defined in regulations by the Virginia Department of Health.

"Inactive license" means a license which that is registered with the Commonwealth but does not entitle the licensee to practice, the holder of which is not required to submit documentation of CE necessary to hold an active license.

"Long-term care facility" means a nursing home, retirement care, mental care, or other facility or institution which that provides extended health care to resident patients.

"NABP" means the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

"Nuclear pharmacy" means a pharmacy providing radiopharmaceutical services.

"On duty" means that a pharmacist is on the premises at the address of the permitted pharmacy and is available as needed.

"On-hold prescription" means a valid prescription that is received and maintained at the pharmacy for initial dispensing on a future date.

"Patient safety organization" means an organization that has as its primary mission continuous quality improvement under the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-41) and is credentialed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

"Permitted physician" means a physician who is licensed pursuant to § 54.1-3304 of the Code of Virginia to dispense drugs to persons to whom or for whom pharmacy services are not reasonably available.

"Perpetual inventory" means an ongoing system for recording quantities of drugs received, dispensed, or otherwise distributed by a pharmacy.

"Personal supervision" means the pharmacist must be physically present and render direct, personal control over the entire service being rendered or act being performed. Neither prior nor future instructions shall be sufficient nor, shall supervision rendered by telephone, written instructions, or by any mechanical or electronic methods be sufficient.

"Pharmacy closing" means that the permitted pharmacy ceases pharmacy services or fails to provide for continuity of pharmacy services or lawful access to patient prescription records or other required patient records for the purpose of continued pharmacy services to patients.

"Pharmacy technician trainee" means a person who is currently enrolled in an approved pharmacy technician training program and is performing duties restricted to pharmacy technicians for the purpose of obtaining practical experience in accordance with § 54.1-3321 D of the Code of Virginia.

"PIC" means the pharmacist-in-charge of a permitted pharmacy.

"Practice location" means any location in which a prescriber evaluates or treats a patient.

"Prescription department" means any contiguous or noncontiguous areas used for the compounding, dispensing and storage of all Schedule II through VI drugs and devices and any Schedule I investigational drugs.

"PTCB" means the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, co-founded by the American Pharmaceutical Association and the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, as the national organization for voluntary examination and certification of pharmacy technicians.

"Quality assurance plan" means a plan approved by the board for ongoing monitoring, measuring, evaluating, and, if necessary, improving the performance of a pharmacy function or system.

"Radiopharmaceutical" means any drug that exhibits spontaneous disintegration of unstable nuclei with the emission of nuclear particles or photons and includes any nonradioactive reagent kit or radionuclide generator that is intended to be used in the preparation of any such substance, but does not include drugs such as carbon-containing compounds or potassium-containing salts that include trace quantities of naturally occurring radionuclides. The term also includes any biological product that is labeled with a radionuclide or intended solely to be labeled with a radionuclide.

"Repackaged drug" means any drug removed from the manufacturer's original package and placed in different packaging.

"Robotic pharmacy system" means a mechanical system controlled by a computer that performs operations or activities relative to the storage, packaging, labeling, dispensing, or distribution of medications, and collects, controls, and maintains all transaction information.

"Safety closure container" means a container which that meets the requirements of the federal Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (15 USC §§ 1471-1476), that is, in testing such containers, that 85% of a test group of 200 children of ages 41-52 months are unable to open the container in a five-minute period and that 80% fail in another five minutes after a demonstration of how to open it and that 90% of a test group of 100 adults must be able to open and close the container.

"Satellite pharmacy" means a pharmacy which that is noncontiguous to the centrally permitted pharmacy of a hospital but at the location designated on the pharmacy permit.

"Special packaging" means packaging that is designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under younger than five years of age to open to obtain a toxic or harmful amount of the drug contained therein within a reasonable time and not difficult for normal adults to use properly, but does not mean packaging which that all such children cannot open or obtain a toxic or harmful amount within a reasonable time.

"Special use permit" means a permit issued to conduct a pharmacy of a special scope of service that varies in any way from the provisions of any board regulation.

"Storage temperature" means those specific directions stated in some monographs with respect to the temperatures at which pharmaceutical articles shall be stored, where it is considered that storage at a lower or higher temperature may produce undesirable results. The conditions are defined by the following terms:

1. "Cold" means any temperature not exceeding 8°C (46°F). A refrigerator is a cold place in which temperature is maintained thermostatically between 2° and 8°C (36° and 46°F). A freezer is a cold place in which the temperature is maintained thermostatically between -20° and -10°C (-4° and 14°F).

2. "Room temperature" means the temperature prevailing in a working area.

3. "Controlled room temperature" means a temperature maintained thermostatically that encompasses the usual and customary working environment of 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F); that results in a mean kinetic temperature calculated to be not more than 25°C; and that allows for excursions between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F) that are experienced in pharmacies, hospitals, and warehouses.

4. "Warm" means any temperature between 30° and 40°C (86° and 104°F).

5. "Excessive heat" means any temperature above 40°C (104°F).

6. "Protection from freezing" means where, in addition to the risk of breakage of the container, freezing subjects a product to loss of strength or potency, or to the destructive alteration of its characteristics, the container label bears an appropriate instruction to protect the product from freezing.

7. "Cool" means any temperature between 8° and 15°C (46° and 59°F).

"Terminally ill" means a patient with a terminal condition as defined in § 54.1-2982 of the Code of Virginia.

"Unit dose container" means a container that is a single-unit container, as defined in United States Pharmacopeia-National Formulary, for articles intended for administration by other than the parenteral route as a single dose, direct from the container.

"Unit dose package" means a container that contains a particular dose ordered for a patient.

"Unit dose system" means a system in which multiple drugs in unit dose packaging are dispensed in a single container, such as a medication drawer or bin, labeled only with patient name and location. Directions for administration are not provided by the pharmacy on the drug packaging or container but are obtained by the person administering directly from a prescriber's order or medication administration record.

"USP-NF" means the United States Pharmacopeia-National Formulary.

"Well-closed container" means a container that protects the contents from extraneous solids and from loss of the drug under the ordinary or customary conditions of handling, shipment, storage, and distribution.

18VAC110-20-500. Licensed emergency medical services (EMS) agencies program.

A. The pharmacy may prepare a drug kit for a licensed emergency medical services EMS agency provided:

1. The PIC of the hospital pharmacy shall be responsible for all prescription drugs and Schedule VI controlled devices contained in this drug kit. A pharmacist shall check each drug kit after filling the kit, and initial the filling record certifying the accuracy and integrity of the contents of the kit.

2. The drug kit is sealed, secured, and stored in such a manner that it will deter theft or loss of drugs and devices and aid in detection of such theft or loss.

a. The hospital pharmacy shall have a method of sealing the kits such that once the seal is broken, it cannot be reasonably resealed without the breach being detected.

b. If a seal is used, it shall have a unique numeric or alphanumeric identifier to preclude replication or resealing. The pharmacy shall maintain a record of the seal identifiers when placed on a kit and maintain the record for a period of one year.

c. In lieu of a seal, a kit with a built-in mechanism preventing resealing or relocking once opened except by the provider pharmacy may be used.

3. Drugs and devices may be administered by an emergency medical technician EMS provider upon an oral or written order or standing protocol of an authorized medical practitioner in accordance with § 54.1-3408 of the Code of Virginia. Oral orders shall be reduced to writing by the technician EMS provider and shall be signed by a medical practitioner. Written standing protocols shall be signed by the operational medical director for the emergency medical services EMS agency. A current copy of the signed standing protocol shall be maintained by the pharmacy participating in the kit exchange. The emergency medical technician EMS provider shall make a record of all drugs and devices administered to a patient.

4. When the drug kit has been opened, the kit shall be returned to the pharmacy and exchanged for an unopened kit. The record of the drugs administered shall accompany the opened kit when exchanged. An accurate record shall be maintained by the pharmacy on the exchange of the drug kit for a period of one year. A pharmacist, pharmacy technician, or nurse shall reconcile the Schedule II, III, IV, or V drugs in the kit at the time the opened kit is returned. A record of the reconciliation, to include any noted discrepancies, shall be maintained by the pharmacy for a period of two years from the time of exchange. The theft or any other unusual loss of any Schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substance shall be reported in accordance with § 54.1-3404 of the Code of Virginia.

5. Accurate records of the following shall be maintained by the pharmacy on the exchange of the drug kit for a period of one year:

a. The record of filling and verifying the kit to include the drug contents of the kit, the initials of the pharmacist verifying the contents, the date of verification, a record of an identifier if a seal is used, and the assigned expiration date for the kit, which shall be no later than the expiration date associated with the first drug or device scheduled to expire.

b. The record of the exchange of the kit to include the date of exchange and the name of EMS agency and EMS provider receiving the kit.

6. Destruction of partially used Schedules II, III, IV, and V drugs shall be accomplished by two persons, one of whom shall be the EMS provider and the other shall be a pharmacist, nurse, prescriber, pharmacy technician, or a second EMS provider. Documentation shall be maintained in the pharmacy for a period of two years from the date of destruction.

5. 7. The record of the drugs and devices administered shall be maintained as a part of the pharmacy records pursuant to state and federal regulations for a period of not less than two years.

6. 8. Intravenous and irrigation solutions provided by a hospital pharmacy to an emergency medical services agency may be stored separately outside the drug kit.

9. Any drug or device showing evidence of damage or tampering shall be immediately removed from the kit and replaced.

10. In lieu of exchange by the hospital pharmacy, the PIC of the hospital pharmacy may authorize the exchange of the kit by the emergency department. Exchange of the kit in the emergency department shall only be performed by a pharmacist, nurse, or prescriber if the kit contents include Schedule II, III, IV, or V drugs.

B. A licensed EMS agency may obtain a controlled substances registration pursuant to § 54.1-3423 D of the Code of Virginia for the purpose of performing a one-to-one exchange of Schedule VI drugs or devices.

1. The controlled substances registration may be issued to a single agency or to multiple agencies within a single jurisdiction.

2. The controlled substances registration issued solely for this intended purpose does not authorize the storage of drugs within the agency facility.

3. Pursuant to § 54.1-3434.02 of the Code of Virginia, the EMS provider may directly obtain Schedule VI drugs and devices from an automated drug dispensing device.

4. If such drugs or devices are obtained from a nurse, pharmacist, or prescriber, it shall be in accordance with the procedures established by the pharmacist-in-charge, which shall include a requirement to record the date of exchange, name of licensed person providing drug or device, name of the EMS agency and provider receiving the drug or device, and assigned expiration date. Such record shall be maintained by the pharmacy for one year from the date of exchange.

5. If an EMS agency is performing a one-to-one exchange of Schedule VI drugs or devices, Schedule II, III, IV, or V drugs shall remain in a separate, sealed container and shall only be exchanged in accordance with provisions of subsection A of this section.

VA.R. Doc. No. R15-3870; Filed May 11, 2015, 3:38 p.m.