REGULATIONS
Vol. 37 Iss. 12 - February 01, 2021

TITLE 18. PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING
BOARD OF PHARMACY
Chapter 21
Emergency

Titles of Regulations: 18VAC110-20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Pharmacy (amending 18VAC110-20-111).

18VAC110-21. Regulations Governing the Licensure of Pharmacists and Registration of Pharmacy Technicians (amending 18VAC110-21-10, 18VAC110-21-20, 18VAC110-21-40, 18VAC110-21-140, 18VAC110-21-150, 18VAC110-21-160, 18VAC110-21-170, 18VAC110-21-180; adding 18VAC110-21-135, 18VAC110-21-141).

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

Effective Dates: January 3, 2021, through July 2, 2022.

Agency Contact: Caroline Juran, RPh, Executive Director, Board of Pharmacy, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23233, telephone (804) 367-4456, FAX (804) 527-4472, or email caroline.juran@dhp.virginia.gov.

Preamble:

Section 2.2-4011 B of the Code of Virginia states that agencies may adopt emergency regulations in situations in which Virginia statutory law or the appropriation act or federal law or federal regulation requires that a regulation be effective in 280 days or less from its enactment, and the regulation is not exempt under the provisions of § 2.2-4006 A 4 of the Code of Virginia.

The amendments conform regulation to Chapters 102 and 237 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly, including (i) establishing the requirements for registration as a pharmacy technician trainee for a person enrolled in a training program and engaging in tasks that may be delegated to a technician; (ii) specifying the certification examinations that are acceptable for registration as a pharmacy technician; and (iii) setting out the requirement for accreditation of training programs that will become effective on July 1, 2022.

18VAC110-20-111. Pharmacy technicians.

A. Every pharmacy that employs or uses pharmacy technicians shall maintain a site-specific training program and manual for training pharmacy technicians to work at that pharmacy. The program shall include training consistent with that specific pharmacy practice to include, but not be limited to, training in proper use of site-specific computer programs and equipment, proper use of other equipment used at the pharmacy in performing technician duties, and pharmacy calculations consistent with the duties at that pharmacy.

B. Every pharmacy shall maintain documentation of successful completion of the site specific training program for each pharmacy technician for the duration of the employment and for a period of two years from date of termination of employment. Documentation for currently employed pharmacy technicians shall be maintained on site or at another location where the records are readily retrievable upon request for inspection. After employment is terminated, such documentation may be maintained at an off-site location where it is retrievable upon request.

C. Every pharmacy that employs or uses a person enrolled in an approved a pharmacy technician training program pursuant to § 54.1-3321 D of the Code of Virginia shall allow such person to conduct tasks restricted to pharmacy technicians for no more than nine months without that person becoming registered as a pharmacy technician with the board as set forth in 18VAC110-20-101. Every pharmacy using such a person shall have documentation on site and available for inspection showing that the person is currently enrolled in an approved training program and the start date for each pharmacy technician in training only if the person is currently registered as a pharmacy technician trainee.

18VAC110-21-10. Definitions.

Part I General
Provisions

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.

"ASHP" means the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

"Board" means the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

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

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

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

"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.

"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.

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

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

"NHA" means National Healthcareer Association.

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

"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 the voluntary examination and certification of pharmacy technicians.

18VAC110-21-20. Fees.

A. Unless otherwise provided, fees listed in this section shall not be refundable.

B. Unless otherwise provided, any fees for taking required examinations shall be paid directly to the examination service as specified by the board.

C. Initial application fees.

1. Pharmacist license

$235

2. Pharmacy intern registration

3. Pharmacy technician trainee registration

$20

$20

3. 4. Pharmacy technician registration

$35

4. 5. Approval of a pharmacy technician training program

$200

5. 6. Approval of a continuing education program

$130

D. Annual renewal fees.

1. Pharmacist active license – due no later than December 31

$120

2. Pharmacist inactive license – due no later than December 31

$60

3. Pharmacy technician registration – due no later than December 31

$35

4. Pharmacy technician training program

$100 every two years

E. Late fees. The following late fees shall be paid in addition to the current renewal fee to renew an expired license or registration within one year of the expiration date or within two years in the case of a pharmacy technician training program. In addition, engaging in activities requiring a license or registration after the expiration date of such license or registration shall be grounds for disciplinary action by the board.

1. Pharmacist license

$40

2. Pharmacist inactive license

$20

3. Pharmacy technician registration

$15

4. Pharmacy technician training program

$20

F. Reinstatement fees. Any person or entity attempting to renew a license or registration more than one year after the expiration date, or more than two years after the expiration date in the case of a pharmacy technician training program, shall submit an application for reinstatement with any required fees. Reinstatement is at the discretion of the board and, except for reinstatement following revocation or suspension, may be granted by the executive director of the board upon completion of an application and payment of any required fees.

1. Pharmacist license

$275

2. Pharmacist license after revocation or suspension

$650

3. Pharmacy technician registration

$45

4. Pharmacy technician or pharmacy technician trainee registration after revocation or suspension

$165

5. A pharmacy technician training program that failed to renew and continued to operate for more than one renewal cycle shall pay the current and all back renewal fees for the years in which they were operating plus a reinstatement fee of $75. A pharmacy technician training program that ceases operation and wishes to resume shall not be eligible for reinstatement but shall apply for a new registration.

G. Miscellaneous fees.

1. Duplicate wall certificate

$50

2. Returned check

$35

3. Duplicate license or registration

$15

4. Verification of licensure or registration

$35

18VAC110-21-40. Unprofessional conduct.

The following practices shall constitute unprofessional conduct within the meaning of § 54.1-3316 of the Code of Virginia:

1. Failing to comply with provisions of § 32.1-127.1:03 of the Code of Virginia related to the confidentiality and disclosure of patient records or related to providing patient records to another practitioner or to the patient or the patient's personal representative;

2. Willfully or negligently breaching the confidentiality of a patient unless otherwise required or permitted by applicable law;

3. Failing to maintain the confidentiality of information received from the Prescription Monitoring Program, obtaining such information for reasons other than to assist in determining the validity of a prescription to be filled, or misusing information received from the program;

4. Engaging in disruptive or abusive behavior in a pharmacy or other health care setting that interferes with patient care or could reasonably be expected to adversely impact the quality of care rendered to a patient;

5. Engaging or attempting to engage in a relationship with a patient that constitutes a professional boundary violation in which the practitioner uses his professional position to take advantage of the vulnerability of a patient or the patient's family, including sexual misconduct with a patient or a member of the patient's family or other conduct that results or could result in personal gain at the expense of the patient;

6. Failing to maintain adequate safeguards against the diversion of controlled substances;

7. Failing to appropriately respond to a known dispensing error in a manner that protects the health and safety of the patient;

8. Delegating a task within the practice of pharmacy to a person who is not adequately trained to perform such a task;

9. Failing by the pharmacist in charge to ensure that pharmacy interns and, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy technician traineees working in the pharmacy are registered and that such registration is current;

10. Failing to exercise professional judgment in determining whether a prescription meets the requirements of law before dispensing;

11. Obtaining money or property of a patient or client by fraud or misrepresentation;

12. Providing false information or failing to cooperate with an employee of the Department of Health Professions in the conduct on an investigation or inspection;

13. Violating any provision of this chapter, 18VAC110-20, or Chapter 33 (§ 54.1-3300 et seq.) or 34 (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia;

14. Performing any act likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public; or

15. Having a restriction of a license to practice pharmacy or a registration as a pharmacy technician in another jurisdiction in the United States.

18VAC110-21-135. Registration as a pharmacy technician trainee.

A. A person desiring to gain practical pharmacy experience toward completion of a pharmacy technician training program in Virginia shall first register with the board as a pharmacy technician trainee on a form provided by the board prior to engaging in the duties of a pharmacy technician pursuant to § 54.1-3321 of the Code of Virginia.

B. In order to be eligible to register as a pharmacy technician trainee, an applicant shall be enrolled in a pharmacy technician training program. An expiration date, not to exceed two years, shall be assigned to the registration to cover the estimated time period for the trainee to complete the practical pharmacy experience required for completion of the training program and pass the required examination. If the trainee is no longer enrolled in the training program, takes a voluntary break from the program, or is otherwise not actively progressing toward completion of such program, the registration is no longer valid and shall be returned to the board immediately.

C. A pharmacy technician trainee shall be directly monitored by a supervising pharmacist who holds a current active license and assumes full responsibility for the training and supervision of the trainee.

D. A pharmacy technician trainee shall notify the board in writing of any change in address of record within 14 days of such change.

18VAC110-21-140. Application for registration as a pharmacy technician (Effective until July 1, 2022).

A. Any person wishing to apply for registration as a pharmacy technician shall submit the application fee and an application on a form approved by the board.

B. To be registered as a pharmacy technician, an applicant shall provide evidence of the following:

1. Satisfactory completion of a board-approved training program; and

2. A passing score on a board-approved examination.

C. In lieu of the requirements of subsection B of this section, an applicant may provide evidence of current PTCB certification.

D. A pharmacy technician trainee enrolled in an approved pharmacy technician training program pursuant to § 54.1-3321 D of the Code of Virginia may perform tasks restricted to pharmacy technicians for no more than nine consecutive months from the date the trainee begins performing duties restricted to a pharmacy technician without becoming registered as a pharmacy technician.

18VAC110-21-141. Requirements for pharmacy technician training (Effective July 1, 2022).

A. Any person wishing to apply for registration as a pharmacy technician shall submit the application fee and an application on a form approved by the board.

B. To be registered as a pharmacy technician, an applicant shall provide evidence of the following:

1. Completion of a pharmacy technician training program that is:

a. Jointly accredited by the ASHP and ACPE;

b. An accredited training program operated through the Department of Education's Career and Technical Education Program;

c. Operated through a federal agency or branch of the military; or

d. Accredited by an accreditation body approved by the board.

2. Successfully having passed a national certification examination administered by PTCB or NHA.

C. A pharmacy technician who has previously practiced in another United States jurisdiction may be eligible to obtain registration as a pharmacy technician upon documentation of previous practice and having passed a national certification examination administered by PTCB or NHA.

D. A person who successfully completed or was enrolled in a board-approved pharmacy technician training program but did not successfully pass a national examination prior to July 1, 2022, may be eligible to obtain registration as a pharmacy technician after successfully passing a national certification examination administered by PTCB or NHA and submitting to the board documentation of such completion or enrollment in a board-approved pharmacy technician training program and passing examination score.

E. A person who passed a national certification examination administered by PTCB or NHA but did not complete a board-approved pharmacy technician training program prior to July 1, 2022, may be eligible to obtain registration as a pharmacy technician upon documentation of having passed such examination.

18VAC110-21-150. Criteria for approval for training programs (Effective until July 1, 2022).

A. Any person wishing to apply for approval of a pharmacy technician training program shall submit the application fee, a sample certificate, and an application on a form approved by the board and meet the criteria established in this section.

B. The curriculum of a training program for pharmacy technicians shall include instruction in applicable current laws and regulations and in the tasks that may be performed by a pharmacy technician to include the following or any other task restricted to pharmacy technicians in regulation:

1. The entry of prescription information and drug history into a data system or other recordkeeping system;

2. The preparation of prescription labels or patient information;

3. The removal of the drug to be dispensed from inventory;

4. The counting, measuring, or compounding of the drug to be dispensed;

5. The packaging and labeling of the drug to be dispensed and the repackaging thereof;

6. The stocking or loading of automated dispensing devices or other devices used in the dispensing process; and

7. The acceptance of refill authorization from a prescriber or the prescriber's authorized agent provided there is no change to the original prescription.

C. Each program shall have a program director who shall be either (i) a pharmacist with a current license in any jurisdiction and who is not currently suspended or revoked in any jurisdiction in the United States; (ii) a pharmacy technician with at least one year of experience performing technician tasks who holds a current registration in Virginia or current PTCB certification and who is not currently suspended or revoked as a pharmacy technician in any jurisdiction; or (iii) other person approved and deemed qualified by the board to be a program director.

D. Instructors for the core components listed in subsection B of this section shall meet the requirements for the program director listed in subsection C of this section. The program director may serve as an instructor.

E. The length of the program shall be sufficient to prepare a program participant to sit for the board-approved examination and demonstrate entry-level competency.

F. The program shall maintain records of program participants either on site or at another location where the records are readily retrievable upon request for inspection. A program shall provide a certificate of completion, including the program approval number, to participants who successfully complete the program and provide verification of completion of the program for a participant upon request by the board. Records shall be maintained for two years from date of completion or termination of program.

G. The program shall report within 14 days any substantive change in the program to include a change in program name, program certificate, program director, instructors, name of institution or business if applicable, address, program content, length of program, or location of records.

H. A pharmacy technician training program approval expires after two years, after which the program may apply for renewal. For continued approval, the program shall submit the renewal application, renewal fee, and a self-evaluation report on a form provided by the board at the time of renewal notification. Renewal of a program's approval is at the discretion of the board, and the decision to renew shall be based on documentation of continued compliance with the criteria set forth in this section.

18VAC110-21-160. Examination. (Repealed.).

A. The board shall approve one or more examinations to test entry-level competency for pharmacy technicians. In order to be approved, a competency examination shall be developed in accordance with and meet the recognized acceptable test measurement standards of the Joint Technical Standards for Education and Psychological Testing (American Psychological Association, current edition), and shall be administered by an independent third party.

B. The board may contract with an examination service for the development and administration of a competency examination.

C. The board shall determine the minimum passing standard on the competency examination.

D. Any requests for testing accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act shall be in accordance with the provisions of 18VAC110-21-80 F.

18VAC110-21-170. Renewal and reinstatement of registration.

A. Pharmacy technician registrations expire on December 31 and shall be renewed annually prior to that date by the submission of a renewal fee, renewal form, and an e-profile number issued by NABP. A pharmacy technician newly registered on or after July 1 shall not be required to renew that registration until December 31 of the following year. Failure to receive the application for renewal shall not relieve the pharmacy technician of the responsibility for renewing the registration by the expiration date.

B. A pharmacy technician who fails to renew his registration by the expiration date may renew his registration at any time within one year of its expiration by submission of the renewal fee and late fee, renewal form, and attestation of having met the continuing education requirements.

C. A pharmacy technician who fails to renew his registration for more than one year following expiration and who wishes to reinstate such registration shall submit an application for reinstatement, pay the current renewal fee and a reinstatement fee, and submit documentation showing compliance with continuing education requirements. Reinstatement is at the discretion of the board and may be granted by the executive director of the board provided no grounds exist to deny said reinstatement. Practicing as a pharmacy technician with a lapsed registration shall be illegal and may subject the registrant to disciplinary action by the board.

D. A person who fails to reinstate a pharmacy technician registration within five years of expiration shall not be eligible for reinstatement and shall repeat an approved training program and repeat and pass the examination or hold current PTCB certification before applying to be reregistered:

1. Take and pass a national certification examination administered by PTCB or NHA;

2. Document completion of 20 hours of continuing education; and

3. Pay the current renewal fee and a reinstatement fee.

18VAC110-21-180. Requirements for continued competency.

A. A pharmacy technician shall be required to have completed a minimum of 0.5 CEUs or five contact hours of approved continuing education for each annual renewal of registration. Hours in excess of the number required for renewal may not be transferred or credited to another year.

B. An approved continuing education program shall meet the requirements as set forth in 18VAC110-21-120 B or 18VAC110-21-130 B.

C. Upon written request of a pharmacy technician, the board may grant an extension of up to one year in order for the pharmacy technician to fulfill the continuing education requirements for the period of time in question. The granting of an extension shall not relieve the pharmacy technician from complying with current year requirements. Any subsequent extension shall be granted for good cause shown.

D. Up to one hour of the five hours required for annual renewal may be satisfied through delivery of pharmacy services as a pharmacy technician, without compensation, to low-income individuals receiving health services through a local health department or a free clinic organized in whole or primarily for the delivery of those services. One hour of continuing education may be credited for three hours of providing such volunteer services, as documented by the health department or free clinic.

E. Original documentation Documentation showing successful completion of continuing education programs shall be maintained by the pharmacy technician for a period of two years following the renewal of his registration. The pharmacy technician shall provide such documentation to the board upon request in a manner to be determined by the board.

VA.R. Doc. No. R20-6513; Filed January 02, 2021