STATEMENT OF INTERPRETATION RELATING TO EMERGENCY PRESCRIPTION REFILLS FOR EVACUEES DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA

September 8, 2017

Policy #14 of the Georgia Board of Pharmacy (“Board”) provides for the refills of certain medication for up to 30 days for persons in the areas covered by a State of Emergency declared by the Governor of the State of Georgia.  This policy is consistent with O.C.G.A. Section 26-4-80(j) and the Governor’s Emergency Declaration.  The Board is clarifying that persons who are evacuated from those emergency areas may also receive a 30-day refill of medication by a Georgia pharmacy or pharmacist without risk of disciplinary action by the Board so long as:

*The refill is not for a controlled substance;

*In the pharmacist’s professional judgment, the prescription drug is essential to the maintenance of the patient’s life or to the continuation of therapy;

*The pharmacist makes a good faith effort to reduce the information to a form that may be maintained for the time required by law or rule, indicates it is an “emergency refill prescription,” and maintains the record as required by state and federal law and as required by state and federal disaster agencies for consideration for possible reimbursement programs implemented to ensure continued provision of care during a disaster or emergency;

*The pharmacist informs the patient or the patient’s agent at the time of dispensing that the prescription drug is being provided without the practitioner’s authorization and that authorization of the practitioner is required for future refills; and

*As emergency conditions permit, the pharmacist notifies the practitioner that the refill occurred.