NC Pharmacy Board Files Emergency Drug Preservation Rule

March 27, 2020

The North Carolina Board of Pharmacy has filed an emergency rule, effective April 1, 2020. Read the rule and  notice for temporary rulemaking

The search for potential treatments for COVID-19 has caused shortages and threatens to cause further shortages in certain drugs. On March 24, 2020, the North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services and the State Health Director requested that the North Carolina Medical Board and the Board of Pharmacy adopt the COVID-19 Drug Preservation Rule in order to alleviate shortages and ensure that the following drugs are available to patients who need them.

  • The following drugs are "Restricted Drugs" as that term is used in this Rule:
    (1) Hydroxychloroquine;
    (2) Chloroquine;
    (3) Lopinavir-ritonavir;
    (4) Ribavirin;
    (5) Oseltamivir;
    (6) Darunavir; and
    (7) Azithromycin.
  • A pharmacist shall fill or refill a prescription for a Restricted Drug only if that prescription bears a written diagnosis from the prescriber consistent with the evidence for its use.
  • When a patient has been diagnosed with COVID-19, any prescription of a Restricted Drug for the treatment of COVID-19 shall:
    (1) Indicate on the prescription order that the patient has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    (2) Be limited to no more than a 14-day supply; and
    (3) Not be refilled, unless a new prescription order is issued in conformance with this Rule, including not being refilled through an emergency prescription refill.
  • A pharmacist shall not fill or refill a prescription for a Restricted Drug for the prevention of, or in anticipation of, the contraction of COVID-19 by someone who has not yet been diagnosed.
  • A prescription for a Restricted Drug may be transmitted orally only if all information required by this Rule is provided to the pharmacy by the physician or the physician's agent, and that information is recorded in writing by the pharmacy, along with the identity of the physician or physician's agent transmitting the prescription.
  • This Rule does not affect orders for administration to inpatients of health care facilities.
  • This Rule does not apply to prescriptions for a Restricted Drug for a patient previously established on that particular Restricted Drug on or before March 10, 2020.