By Anna Schwartz
At its September 17, 2020 meeting, the Board of Pharmacy (BOP) voted to readopt emergency regulations to add section 1747, Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) to establish a training program for pharmacists to independently furnish HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) medications, drugs that reduce HIV infection. The Board also approved the actual training material, which will be recorded and made available on the Board’s website at no cost to licensees. The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) initially approved the emergency regulations on April 30, 2020, for a period of 180 days. The regulations were set to expire on October 28, 2020.
At its January 29, 2020 meeting [Item VII.a], the Board approved proposed language to establish the training program requirements necessary for pharmacists to furnish HIV PrEP and PEP pursuant to SB 159 (Wiener) (Chapter 532, Statutes of 2019). [25:2 CRLR 44–45]
In the initial finding of emergency, BOP stated that pharmacists are well-positioned to independently initiate and furnish HIV PrEP and PEP, as pharmacists are healthcare professionals who are highly accessible to patients within their communities. The regulation ensures that pharmacists have the training necessary to independently initiate and furnish HIV PrEP and PEP.
Also, at its January 29, 2020 meeting, the Board approved the proposed text to establish the regulations through the permanent rulemaking process. The Board submitted the formal rulemaking package to the Department of Consumer Affairs Legal Office on February 7, 2020, and the package is currently under review. Since the permanent rulemaking process will not be finalized in advance of the emergency regulation’s October expiration date, the Board voted for re-adoption for a period of 90 days to keep the emergency regulations in place. Thus, the emergency regulation will continue to provide training guidelines for community pharmacists to furnish HIV prevention drugs for an additional 90 days so that the permanent regulation may advance through nonemergency rulemaking channels.