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Pharmacist Vaccinating Children, Supreme Court to Hear PBM Case, FL Governor Declares APhM & More

Oct 15, 2020 | Latest News

October 2, 2020

Fla Surgeon General Issues Emergency Order on Pharmacist Vaccination of Children

In August the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services issued an an amendment to the Declaration to include as Covered Persons certain licensed pharmacists when ordering and administering, and certain registered pharmacy interns when administering, any ACIP-recommended vaccine to persons ages 3 through 18.  This action by the Secretary preempts Florida laws which restrict children from getting vaccinations from Florida licensed pharmacists and registered interns.

In September the Florida Pharmacy Association sent a letter to the State’s Surgeon General requesting clarification that the restrictions on Florida laws have been lifted under this order.  Yesterday we have learned that Surgeon General Scott Rivkees issued an emergency order (DOH No. 20-014) under his authority suspending the restrictions under 465.189 (1).  This action under his emergency order would allow pharmacists who have completed their certification training and are registered as immunizers to administer vaccines to children under the age of 18 down to age 3 as specified in the HHS action.

The Florida Surgeon General’s order also clarified that pharmacists will be able to vaccinate patients against COVID-19.  This order will remain in effect until Governor DeSantis’ emergency order 20-52 expires or is not extended.


Read Surgeon General’s Order

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Florida Pharmacy Association will be making available a CE refresher program on vaccination of children.  Watch your messaging from the FPA on the program’s availability.


US Supreme Court to Hear Case on PBMs

The United States Supreme Court will be hearing a case on the State of Arkansas’ ability to regulate pharmacy benefit managers.  We believe that this case will have a far reaching impact on regulating PBMs.  Arguments before SCOTUS will be on this Tuesday, October 6, 2020.


  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled certain PBM regulations enacted by the State of Arkansas were preempted by ERISA, meaning the state did not have the authority to regulate employer-or union-sponsored health plans.
  • The Eighth Circuit determined Arkansas’s laws were impermissibly related to and connected with employee benefit plans, also known as ERISA plans.
  • Pursuant to an invitation from the Supreme Court, the United States Solicitor General filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the United States arguing that the Eighth Circuit’s ruling is“incorrect” and“contrary to [the Supreme] Court’s precedent and the decisions of other courts of appeals.”

The FPA has joined in with the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, NCPA, APhA and the Arkansas Pharmacy Association and all other state pharmacy associations by signing an Amici Curiae or supporting the arguments that the Arkansas Attorney General will bring before the Supreme Court on this issue.


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Governor DeSantis Declares October – American Pharmacist Month in Florida

Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a proclamation declaring October as American Pharmacist Month in Florida.  In his order the Governor recognizes the work of our state’s pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledged that our industry is crucial elements in the recovery of our communities.  We extend thanks to the Public Affairs Council chaired by Alyson Lozicki and FPA Governmental Affairs Council Chair Kevin Duane in their efforts to get the Governor’s acknowledgment of our state’s pharmacists.


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Administration Announces Approval of Importation (from NCPA)

Last week, President Trump announced his administration had approved states to import pharmaceuticals from Canada. Previously, Congress had granted the authority to the President to permit state importation if the Secretary of HHS would certify such programs as safe and cost effective. Secretary Azar certified such plans would do just that on Wednesday of last week, allowing Florida along with Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Vermont, with enacted laws to create a state importation program (SIP). However, HHS retains final approval over the SIPs and has no timeline for deciding on the states’ submissions nor is it clear if states can submit plans before the effective date of 60 days after publication of the rule.

FPA staff met with the Canadian Consulate on the issue and expressed our concerns with the program.


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Survey on Steering of Patients (from NCPA)

An NCPA survey released last month finds that almost 80 percent of community pharmacists say they’ve lost patients because of unfair steering in the past six months. “The results are very disturbing,” says NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. State and federal regulators should be concerned by the survey findings, Hoey says: “When the largest players tilt the playing field, patients are robbed of choice. And small businesses, the backbone of the U.S. economy, are forced to close.”

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