During this COVID-19 pandemic, IPA recognizes and appreciates the dedication and professionalism of our members who are selflessly serving on the front lines of this public health emergency. From all of us at IPA, thank you for all that you do.
COVID-19 Progress Tracker
Since the early weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak, IPA has been recording its communication and advocacy efforts, as well as state and national policy updates related to COVID-19. This resource will be updated weekly and accessible to members here. Updated October 23, 2020.
In an effort to address your immediate questions and concerns regarding COVID-19, IPA staff and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy will host webinars as needed. Recordings and Q&A from previous webinars have been made available to you.
Connecting Over COVID-19
Wednesday, October 28, 2:00-3:00 pm
Your Questions Answered
Questions have been collected from previous COVID-19 webinars and emails received by IPA staff. IPA strives to find answers to all of your pharmacy-specific questions regarding COVID-19. Questions and answers will be updated each week and as changes arise. Updated May 28, 2020.
Current topics include:
IPA is very concerned about staffing shortages in the event of widespread illness at your practice site and we want to take care of our members.
As a pharmacist, pharmacy technician, or student pharmacist, please complete the appropriate sign-up below if you are willing to work temporarily to help another practice site in Iowa. By providing us your information, you agree to have your name, city, and phone number listed on a Members Only page for help in the event of an emergency.
If you are not an IPA member, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for this information.
Temporary Positions from VA
Veterans Affairs has posted temporary pharmacist and pharmacy technician positions to assist with emergency response. These positions may or may not be in Iowa.
Pharmacy Technician Positions
A message from IPA’s partner, PharmServ Staffing:
“PharmServ Staffing is actively monitoring COVID-19 to determine how we can best support you. Moving forward, until this crisis is over, we will discount our hourly rate for temporary coverage by five percent (5%). You can contact us directly at 515-334-4293 or visit us at www.PharmServstaffing.com.”
Patient Care/Practice Guidelines
Draft Guidance to Iowa Hospitals on the Use of Remdesivir in Treatment of Patients with COVID-19
On June 2, and again on June 19, an advisory committee to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Remdesivir Advisory Committee (RAC), convened to respond to and further develop guidance for use of Remdesivir in hospitalized patients. (June 26, 2020)
EUA for Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Revoked
The FDA revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) that allowed for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate to be used to treat certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The FDA determined that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA. (June 15, 2020)
Vaccination Guidance During a Pandemic
The CDC has issued interim guidance to help immunization providers in a variety of clinical settings plan for safe vaccine administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance will be updated as the pandemic evolves. (June 9, 2020)
Advisory Opinion on Pharmacists' Authority to Test
According to this guidance from HHS, the PREP Act preempts any state or local requirement that prohibits a pharmacist from ordering and administering a COVID-19 diagnostic test that the FDA has authorized. (May 19, 2020)
Examples of Anticoagulation Protocol for COVID-19 Patients:
Temporary Policy on Repackaging or Combining Propofol Drug Products During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
The FDA has announced temporary guidance for combining or repackaging propofol drug products. The temporary flexibility may help address concerns about the challenge small vial sizes present to management of critical care patients. (April 22, 2020)
Joint Letter of Support for Updated CDC Guidance
The Iowa Pharmacy Association, Drake University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy released a joint letter of support on the CDC’s updated guidance addressing infection control in pharmacies during the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 17, 2020)
COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers
FDA Guidance on Fraudulent COVID-19 Testing
The FDA has a list of all current authorized tests (updated daily) and a list of laboratories and manufacturers that are offering tests for COVID-19.
Managing Patients with Epilepsy during COVID-19
AES (American Epilepsy Society) has provided reccomendations for ensuring medications are appropriately managed for patients with epilepsy during COVID-19. (April 8, 2020)
On March 27, CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) released a list of approved Section 1135 waivers. Since then, they have released additional blanket waivers that apply to a number of provider types. (April 1, 2020)
Iowa Board of Pharmacy's Statement on Enforcement Discretion
The Board recognizes that there are myriad other challenges posed to pharmacies by this pandemic. The Board has issued this Statement on Enforcement Discretion to provide guidance to pharmacies about the Board’s enforcement of certain administrative rules during this period of public health disaster emergency. (March 23, 2020) Pharmacists as Front-Line Responders for COVID-19 Patient Care
Major pharmacy organizations, representing the interests of pharmacists in the United States, have released a joint set of policy recommendations critical to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. (March 20, 2020)
FIP Releases Significant Update to COVID-19 Guidelines for Pharmacists Around the World
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) released updated guidance for pharmacists in community, hospital, and clinical biology on COVID-19. The new guidance replaces their first COVID-19 guidance issued in February since the situation has continued to develop rapidly. (March 19, 2020)
The updated guidance takes into account new evidence and recommendations on:
- Modes of transmission and incubation period
- Pharmacy operations and facilities
- Ensuring safety and continuity of service
- Preventive measures – including the use of masks
- Pharmacy interventions and patient counseling
- Treatment guidelines and medicines that may need to be stocked Progress in medicines and vaccine development
- Laboratory testing for COVID-19 in suspected human cases
- Cleaning and disinfection products and procedures
- Travel advice
FIP also issued a position statement that includes opinions on the safety of the use of ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and corticosteroids during the COVID-19 pandemic. (March 19, 2020)
DEA Guidance on Early Refills
The DEA has issued new guidance on early refills of controlled substances. This document, along with other resources, is available on the DEA’s COVID-19 website.
- Letter to Members of Congress re Pharmacist’s Role (March 21, 2020)
- Congressional Sign on Letter re Suspension of DIR Fees (March 23, 2020)
- Easing Workforce Challenges (March 27, 2020)
- The Pharmacist’s Essential Role in Public Health Crisis (March 24, 2020)
- Pharmacists Warn of Drug Shortages for Patients Needing a Ventilator (April 14, 2020)
- Changes in CDC Guidance for Both Pharmacy Staff and the Public (April 21, 2020)
- Pharmacists Adapt to Fill Critical Needs During COVID-19 Pandemic (May 5, 2020)
- Iowa Pharmacists Begin Conducting COVID-19 Testing (May 19, 2020)
- Legislature Can Equip Pharmacists to Fight COVID-19 (June 11, 2020)
- Iowa Pharmacists Can Safely Begin Administering Routine Vaccinations (July 1, 2020)
- How PBMs Are Hurting Patients and Communities (July 13, 2020)
- Access to Childhood Vaccines Expanded (August 21, 2020)
- Therapeutic Interchange Clinical Guide from IPA (April 30, 2020)
- Pharmacy Surge Demand Calculators from ASHP - Example predictive calculators used by hospitals to estimate select medication use needs for the care of COVID-19 patients
- How to Get a CLIA Waiver from CEImpact
- Point of Care Testing Quick Training from CEImpact
- IPA Therapeutic Substitution Flowchart (April 14, 2020)
- Mount Sinai Health System Resources
- Interactive Handbook on Injectable Drugs from ASHP
- CMS Minimizing Face-to-Face Contact for Medication Delivery or Dispensing (March 20, 2020)
- Board of Pharmacy Guidance on Shortages of Personal Protective Gear: Guidance on how to still adhere to USP 795, 797, and 800 standards. (March 9, 2020)
- FDA Guidance on Temporary Compounding of Hand Sanitizer Products: Provides FDA’s current recommendation to resolve shortage of hand sanitizer products. (Updated March 27, 2020)
- Common FAQs for Healthcare Professionals from the CDC – Answers to common questions such as: who’s at risk, can you be re-infected, and how we protect ourselves as providers. (Updated March 30, 2020)
- National Pharmacy Association COVID-19 Webpages: APhA, ASHP, NCPA, NACDS, and ASCP
- Decision Tree & Flyers for Your Pharmacy: FIP’s Decision Tree for Pharmacists to Guide Patients (Updated March 27, 2020), CDC’s Practicing Good Hygiene, and CDC’s Symptoms to Watch
- Curbside pick-up operations example (March 16, 2020)
- SIDP COVID-19 Resources
The IPA staff team will be primarily working remote for the upcoming weeks ahead. We can still be reached by phone (515-270-0713), but encourage email as the primary form of communication. We are equipped to provide the same high level of member-service during this time. Look for our social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram) and Top 5 emails for the most up-to-date information.
IPA remains in close communication with the Board of Pharmacy, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and other state agencies to address the spread of coronavirus. IPA will advocate for utilization of the expertise of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacists during the execution of emergency preparedness policies and procedures across the state.