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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Chapter 480-36 RETAIL PHARMACY REQUIREMENTS FOR REMOTE PRESCRIPTION DRUG ORDER PROCESSING

Rule 480-36-.01 Definitions

As used in this chapter, the following terms:

(1) "Board" shall mean the Georgia Board of Pharmacy.
(2) "Remote prescription drug order processing" shall mean the processing of prescription or patient information from a location other than the location from which the prescription medication is received and dispensed. It shall not include the dispensing of a drug, but may include:
(a) Receiving the prescription order from the primary dispensing pharmacy
(b) Interpreting, analyzing, or clarifying prescriptions;
(c) Entering prescription or patient data into a data processing system;
(d) Transferring prescription information;
(e) Performing a drug regimen review;
(f) Performing a drug allergy review;
(g) Performing therapeutic interventions; or
(h) Any combination of these order processing functions.
(3) Primary dispensing pharmacy. A primary dispensing pharmacy shall be defined as the retail pharmacy from which a prescription is physically received and dispensed to the patient or the patient's caregiver.
(4) Secondary remote entry pharmacy. A secondary remote entry pharmacy shall be defined as the retail pharmacy which performs remote prescription drug order processing but does not dispense the medication to the patient or the patient's caregiver. There shall only be one secondary pharmacy to assist the primary dispensing pharmacy with remote prescription drug order processing per prescription.

Rule 480-36-.02 Licensing

(1) Pharmacies which perform remote prescription drug order processing shall be independently licensed as a retail pharmacy by the Board and physically located within the State of Georgia.
(2) Remote prescription drug processing from any location other than a retail pharmacy licensed in this State is prohibited.
(3) Pharmacies which perform remote prescription drug order processing shall either have the same owner or have a written contract describing the scope of services to be provided and the responsibilities and accountabilities of each pharmacy. Such contract shall be available for review by the Board or its representative.

Rule 480-36-.03 Personnel and Supervision

(1) The primary dispensing pharmacy shall have a licensed pharmacist on site during business hours and his/her shall duties shall include the verification of the validity of all prescriptions. Such pharmacist shall be responsible for obtaining and recording all information needed. This shall include but not be limited to the following patient information: biographical information, medication history, drug allergies, and other information as required. Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns/externs may assist a pharmacist located at the primary dispensing pharmacy with remote prescription drug order processing. Such pharmacies shall comply with Georgia laws and rules set forth pertaining to ratios and the supervision of pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns/externs.
(2) The secondary remote entry pharmacy shall have a pharmacist on duty, licensed in this State, who is physically present and personally supervising all pharmacy activities. Remote prescription drug order processing in a retail pharmacy without the direct supervision of a pharmacist is prohibited.
(3) Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns/externs may assist a pharmacist located at the secondary remote entry pharmacy with remote prescription drug order processing. Such pharmacies shall comply with Georgia laws and rules set forth pertaining to ratios and the supervision of pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns/externs.
(4) The pharmacist on duty at the primary dispensing pharmacy shall be responsible for assuring the accuracy of all filled or dispensed prescriptions including those prepared through the use of remote prescription drug order processing. This shall include, but not be limited to, viewing and verifying the hardcopy or electronic prescription.
(5) The pharmacist on duty at the secondary remote entry pharmacy shall be responsible for assuring the accuracy of prescriptions for which he/she performed or supervised remote prescription drug order processing. This responsibility shall exclude the compounding, preparation, dispensing, and counseling for prescriptions for which he/she has performed remote prescription drug order processing. The pharmacist shall verify the data entered into the computer system is consistent with the prescription. The pharmacist shall conduct a drug regimen review for each prescription. Any activity requiring the exercise of professional judgment shall be performed by the pharmacist on duty and shall not be delegated to pharmacy technicians. The pharmacist on duty at the secondary remote entry pharmacy shall be responsible for verification of all activities performed by pharmacy technicians, or pharmacy interns/externs.

Rule 480-36-.04 Policy and Procedures

The primary dispensing pharmacy and the secondary remote entry pharmacy shall have a written policy and procedure that relates to the remote processing at each pharmacy involved in the processing of a prescription and available for inspection by the Board or its representative. The policy shall at a minimum include the following:

(a) The responsibilities of each pharmacy;
(b) A list of the name, address, telephone numbers, and permit/registration numbers of all pharmacies involved in remote processing;
(c) Procedures for protecting the confidentiality and integrity of patient information;
(d) Procedures for ensuring that pharmacists performing prospective drug reviews have access to appropriate drug information resources;
(e) Procedures for maintaining required records;
(f) Procedures for complying with all applicable laws and regulations to include counseling.

Rule 480-36-.05 Record Keeping

(1) The primary dispensing pharmacy and the secondary remote entry pharmacy shall share a common electronic file or have technology which allows sufficient information necessary to process a non-dispensing function.
(2) In addition to any other required records, the primary dispensing pharmacy and the secondary remote entry pharmacy shall maintain retrievable records which show, for each prescription remotely processed, each individual processing function and identity of the pharmacist or pharmacy technician who performs a processing function and the pharmacist who checked the processing function.
(3) The primary dispensing pharmacy and the secondary remote entry pharmacy may maintain records separately at each pharmacy, or in a common electronic file shared by both pharmacies provided the system can produce a record showing each processing task, the identity of the person performing each task, and the location where each task was performed.
(4) These records maintained by the primary dispensing pharmacy and the secondary remote entry pharmacy shall be readily retrievable for at least two years through the primary dispensing pharmacy, and shall be available for inspection by the Board or its representative.
(5) The record keeping required by this rule is in addition to the record keeping required under Rule Chapter 480-10 and any other Board rules and state and federal laws.

Rule 480-36-.06 Patient Counseling

(1) It shall be the responsibility of the pharmacist on duty at the primary dispensing pharmacy to perform patient counseling of all prescriptions, as required, including those assisted by remote processing.
(2) The secondary remote entry pharmacy shall not perform patient counseling on behalf of the primary dispensing pharmacy.

Rule 480-36-.07 Notification to Patients

(1) Prior to utilizing remote prescription drug order processing, the primary dispensing pharmacy shall:
(a) Notify patients their prescription drug order may be processed by another pharmacy. Such notification may be provided through a one time written consent from the patient or the patient's authorized representative and through use of a sign in the pharmacy which states: "Remote Order Processing Utilized Here."Such sign must be clear and legible with letters at least three (3) inches in size, and the sign shall be free from obstruction and visible to patients at the time the prescription is presented to the pharmacy.
(b) Give the name of that pharmacy, or if the pharmacy is part of a network of pharmacies under a common ownership and any of the network pharmacies may process the prescription order, the patient shall be notified of this fact. Such notification may be provided through a one time written consent from the patient or the patient's authorized representative and through use of a sign in the pharmacy which states: "Remote Order Processing Utilized Here." Such sign must be clear and legible with letters at least three (3) inches in size, and the sign shall be free from obstruction and visible to patients at the time the prescription is presented to the pharmacy.
(2) Prior to utilizing remote prescription drug order processing, written consent from the patient or the patient's authorized representative shall be obtained by the primary dispensing pharmacy when the primary dispensing pharmacy and the secondary remote entry pharmacy do not share the same owner.