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Finance Committee Report on Insulin Pricing, Remote Operating Pharmacy, Vaccine Toolkit and more

Feb 1, 2021 | Latest News

February 1, 2021

HHS Likely to Extend Public Health Emergency – The Biden Administration sent letters to the Governors of each state informing them of a likely extension of the public health emergency declaration by the Secretary of Health & Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §247d). The current public health emergency was renewed effective January 21, 2021, and will be in effect for 90 days. The PHE will likely remain in place for the entirety of 2021, and when a decision is made to terminate the declaration or let it expire, HHS will provide states with 60 days’ notice prior to termination. The letter also acknowledges the continuation of the PREP Act authorities as well as the Emergency Use Authorizations in place for approved drugs.

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USP Vaccine Handling Toolkit – USP has released a handy vaccine handling toolkit for health care providers who are handling COVID-19 vaccines.  Some of the items in the toolkit may include:

  • Prepare and administer vaccines at different locations by different individuals
  • Pre-draw the vaccine into syringes for efficient administration
  • Maximize doses per vial
  • Ensure quality management systems are in place for vaccine handling
  • Transport the vaccine and ancillary supplies
  • Minimize vaccine waste and safely dispose of ancillary supplies
  • Safely dispose of dry ice
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Pharmacy Businesses Checked for Poster Compliance – Florida Statutes 456.0341 require the posting of a sign in a conspicuous area accessible to employees.  This sign must be at least11 inches by 15 inches in size, printed in a clearly legible font and in at least a 32-point type, which substantially states in English and Spanish the following:

“If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in an activity and cannot leave, whether it is prostitution, house work, farm work, factory work, retail work, restaurant work, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-373-7888or text INFO or HELP to 233-733  to access help and services. Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and Florida law.”

The requirement for this sign took effect on January 1, 2021 and pharmacies are being evaluated for compliance.  Templates in English and Spanish are available on the Department of Health web site.

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Florida Pharmacists Improving Patient Health – The FPA has released an updated report on health care spending and pharmacist services in Florida.  Last year Florida laws were revised to provide new tools for the ability of pharmacists to manage chronic and non-chronic diseases.  A training program will need to be completed by pharmacists.  The Association is working to have that program released soon.

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Legislation Filed Creating Remote Operating Pharmacies – Senate bill 700 filed by Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez includes a telehealth package and is also designed to change the Florida pharmacy practice act by defining a “remote site pharmacy”.  If signed into law, these pharmacies would be staffed by registered pharmacy technicians and supervised remotely by an off-site pharmacist who will be designated the prescription department manager.  There is no House version released yet.  The bill allows for pharmacy technicians to compound and dispense medications.

US Senate Committee on Finance Releases Report on Insulin Pricing – A comprehensive report has been released from the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on insulin pricing and the role played by manufacturers and PBMs.  The report reveals the complex business practices and clarifies how and why the cost of insulin continues to skyrocket.


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