MPA Request for Comments - Pharmacy Remote Verification
Issue Summary: Current technology now allows for pharmacists to verify prescription orders from locations other than the pharmacy that will ultimately dispense the medication. A current example of how this technology is utilized would be the verification of prescription refills that would are dispensed at a community practice by a pharmacist operating at another location within the same company. Some pharmacy practices have considered using similar technology to allow for pharmacists to verify orders for institutional practice for after-hours dispensing. However, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has asserted that prescription verification falls within the definition of “the practice of pharmacy” which, according to the definition of “pharmacy” within the public health code, can only be performed within a licensed pharmacy.1 Subsequent to this interpretation, verification or prescription orders that are performed outside of a licensed pharmacy render the pharmacists would classify the pharmacists current location as a “pharmacy,” in which case the practitioner would be practicing in an unlicensed pharmacy. This restriction does not seem to inhibit the ability of pharmacies to verify orders for an off-site pharmacy provided that they are doing it from a licensed pharmacy location. This practice does not negate the regulatory requirement for any pharmacy to be under the personal charge of a licensed pharmacist in order to be open for operations.2, 3
Relevant Regulatory Citations:
- MCL 333.17707 (4) which defines a pharmacy to be any location in which the practice of pharmacy occurs.1
- MCL 333.17707 (4) “Pharmacy” means a building or part of a building in which the practice of pharmacy is conducted.
- MCL 333.17707 (1) “Personal charge” means the immediate physical presence of a pharmacist or dispensing prescriber.
- MCL 333.17741 (2) A pharmacy open for business shall be under the personal charge of a pharmacist. A pharmacist shall not simultaneously have personal charge of more than 1 pharmacy. The person to whom a pharmacy license is issued and the pharmacists on duty are responsible for compliance with federal and state law regulating the distribution of drugs and the practice of pharmacy. Pharmacy services shall be conducted under the control and personal charge of a pharmacist.