Vermont Pharmacist Association

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources






On March 13, 2020, Governor Phil Scott declared a State of Emergency in Vermont in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Vermont Secretary of State Office of Regulation and Board of Pharmacy have issued emergency guidance for pharmacists in Vermont. 

Report all suspect cases immediately to the Vermont Department of

Health Infectious Disease Epidemiology by calling 802-863-7240 (24/7)

Governor Scott signed a COVID-19 emergency bill to support Health Care and Human Service Provider Sustainability on March 30, 2020. The below text comes from the bill that was signed, and while we are waiting on the official text of the law this can provide initial guidance. You can read the entire bill here.

Sec. 11. PHARMACISTS; CLINICAL PHARMACY; THERAPEUTIC SUBSTITUTION DUE TO LACK OF AVAILABILITY (a) During a declared state of emergency in Vermont as a result of COVID19, a pharmacist may, with the informed consent of the patient, substitute an available drug or insulin product for an unavailable prescribed drug or insulin product in the same therapeutic class if the available drug or insulin product would, in the clinical judgment of the pharmacist, have substantially equivalent therapeutic effect even though it is not a therapeutic equivalent. (b) As soon as reasonably possible after substituting a drug or insulin product pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the pharmacist shall notify the prescribing clinician of the drug or insulin product, dose, and quantity actually dispensed to the patient.

April 10, 2020: An emergency regulatory order was announced to curb inappropriate prescribing. You can read the entire order here.

No legend drug is currently FDA-approved for treatment of COVID-19. Interest in drugs known or popularly believed to be under investigation for potential therapeutic utility versus COVID-19 has contributed to unjustified off-label use in patients for whom established risk exceeds speculative benefit, to drug hoarding, and to disruption in access for patients who require maintenance pharmacotherapies to protect health and life. 

May 5, 2020: Important Information in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency: Extension of Prior Authorizations. You can read the entire authorization here.

To reduce workload on provider offices and facilitate medication access for Medicaid members during the current emergency, beginning on May 1, 2020 DVHA is extending all existing drug prior authorizations (PAs) for an additional six months past their current expiration date. Application of these extensions will be evaluated each month throughout the COVID-19 emergency. This will include both drugs picked up in a pharmacy and physician-administered drugs. The extensions will be applied on a monthly rolling basis. For example, PAs expiring in May will be extended through November, June through December and so on. This will include all drugs except those that are not clinically appropriate to extend (for example: acute antibiotics, Hepatitis C antivirals, loading doses, or medications used during pregnancy). This will not affect new PA requests, only renewals

NEW: June 10, 2020: COVID-19 Emergency Guidance, State of Vermont. You can read the entire document here.

This guidance document clarifies Vermont Office of Professional Regulation and Vermont Board of Pharmacy policies, interpretations, and recommendations to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance will be modified and expanded in response to new developments.

New content in this version (v2020-5-21) addresses: - Pharmacy-based testing (p. 7)

New content in the previous version (v2020-4-10) addressed: - Prescription Extension & Therapeutic Substitution (Act 91) - Drug Utilization Review relative to inappropriate COVID-19 related prescribing - Interruption of Operations: Wholesale Distributors, Third-Party Logistics Providers, Warehouses - Interruption of Operations: Retail Pharmacies - Modification of Facility Access, Counseling Practices, and Employee Work Sites


Vermont Pharmacists Association

On 5/14/2020, OSHA issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect retail pharmacy workers from exposure to the coronavirus.

Safety measures for retail pharmacies include:
    • Encourage customers to submit prescriptions online or by phone. Allow customers to provide their insurance information verbally or virtually (e.g., through mobile apps or the pharmacy’s website);
      • Increase the use of self-serve checkouts to minimize worker interaction with customers;
      • Frequently clean and disinfect checkout and customer service counters;
      • Install clear plastic barriers between workers and customers at order/pickup counters;
      • Use signage and floor markers to keep waiting customers at least 6 feet from the counter, other customers and pharmacy staff; and
      • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns. It is illegal to retaliate against workers for reporting illnesses or for reporting unsafe or unhealthful working conditions.

                    RESOURCES FOR PATIENTS

                    "Vermont Pharmacists Association" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

                    Vermont Pharmacists Association 2019.

                    P.O. Box 267, St. Albans, VT, 05478

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