Tennessee Pharmacists Association
Know the Rules

Tennessee Board of Pharmacy Meeting Summary
July 29-30, 2015

The Tennessee Board of Pharmacy held a meeting on July 29-30, 2015. TPA staff has compiled the following subjective review of important topics for members regarding the Board meeting. For more specific guidance on this information, please contact the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy by phone at 615-741-2718 or by fax at 615-741-2722. If you would like to view the Board of Pharmacy meeting in its entirety, click here, then click “Board of Pharmacy” in the left-hand panel.

Drug Disposal – The Board rules regarding Drug Disposal are currently in the Attorney General’s office, and no timeline was provided regarding when these rules will be set for a rulemaking hearing. These rules resulted from TPA-Supported Legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly during the 2015 session. Effective July 1, 2015, this legislation authorizes pharmacy participation in voluntary drug disposal programs. Additionally, the Board of Pharmacy has authorized pharmacy drug disposal programs through a policy statement.

Comprehensive Rules Revisions (including Long-Term Care Rules) – A rulemaking hearing regarding the set of comprehensive rules revisions and long-term care rules was scheduled for July 28, 2015, but was postponed because the rules have not cleared the internal review process as set forth in the Tennessee Secretary of State’s guidelines in Tennessee Code Annotated §4-5-203. The postponement of this rulemaking hearing was disappointing to all involved, including the Board of Pharmacy staff and members, attorneys in the Office of General Counsel, and TPA staff members in attendance. The Board expressed their concerns about this process to the Office of General Counsel and reinforced the importance of moving these rules forward to promote the health and safety of patients in Tennessee.

Collaborative Pharmacy Practice – The Board plans to submit the comprehensive rules revisions, long-term care rules, and collaborative pharmacy practice rules together as one packet for review through the State’s internal review process soon. It is anticipated that the earliest date the Board will be authorized to have a rulemaking hearing on these rules will be in November. As a reminder, Collaborative Pharmacy Practice is currently authorized by law as of July 1, 2014. No further guidance has been provided regarding pharmacists currently participating in collaborative practice agreements with physicians.

Changes to Schedule II Prescriptions – As a reminder, the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy has approved the following policy regarding what may and may not be changed by pharmacists on Schedule II prescriptions.

  • The following changes MAY NOT be made to a Schedule II Prescription
    • Name of the patient
    • Name of the drug (except for generic substitution as permitted by state law)
    • Name of the prescribing practitioner (including signature)
  • The following changes MAY be made to a Schedule II prescription, provided the pharmacist contacts the prescribing practitioner and obtains verbal permission for the change AND documents the following on the prescription: the change that was authorized, name or initials of the individual granting the authorization, and the initials of the pharmacist
    • Strength of the drug
    • Quantity of the drug
    • Directions for use

Dispensing of Controlled Substance Medications – Through Governor Haslam’s Prescription for Success plan, some statewide strategies have been developed to prevent and treat the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Tennessee. One of the goals of this plan is to decrease the amount of controlled substances that are dispensed in Tennessee. According to the DEA, pharmacists have a corresponding responsibility to exercise sound professional judgment to determine the legitimacy of a controlled substance prescription. In addition, Tennessee Board of Pharmacy Rule 1140-02-.01 (10) states that “a pharmacist shall, by utilizing education, skill, experience, and professional judgment, make every reasonable effort to prevent the abuse of drugs which the pharmacist dispenses.” However, the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy does take the legitimate dispensing of controlled substances very seriously and strives to maintain the health and safety of Tennesseans. The Board encourages all pharmacists and pharmacy team members to view the “Red Flags” of Drug Diversion video created by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

Take Back and Disposal of Controlled Substance Medications by Physicians’ Offices – The Board of Pharmacy has received several reports of physicians’ offices taking back controlled substance medications from patients in their practices and destroying the medications at their practice sites or facilities. According to the DEA, physicians’ offices must be registered with the DEA as authorized collectors in order to take back and destroy any controlled substance medications from patients. The DEA also issued a letter regarding the take back and disposal of controlled substances, and has provided a page with resources regarding controlled substance drug disposal. Any complaints filed with the Board of Pharmacy regarding this issue will be forwarded to the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for further action. TPA encourages members to work directly with physicians and other prescribers to educate them about the current DEA regulations regarding drug disposal.

Incorrect Information Submitted to the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database (CSMD) – The Board of Pharmacy provided guidance regarding information that is inadvertently entered into the CSMD incorrectly. In the event that incorrect information is submitted, the pharmacist should work directly with the prescriber to resolve the discrepancy and submit the corrected information. For more details, you may access the Tennessee CSMD Data Collection Manual online. If you have specific questions regarding this process, please email the CSMD Administrator atCSMD.Admin@tn.gov or call 615-253-1305.

Grace Period for Expired Licenses – The Board of Pharmacy discussed creating a policy for a grace period regarding licenses that have expired. Although no action was taken by the Board, this topic may be considered at a future Board meeting. As a reminder, there is currently no defined grace period, and each licensee is responsible for renewing their license on time.

Electronic Notification of License Renewal – The State of Tennessee has recently updated its licensure system, and there have been some issues with this transition, and especially with the e-mail reminder system. If individuals have “opted in” on the State’s site and agreed to receive electronic notification regarding licensure renewal, licensees should receive an e-mail 70 days prior to the expiration of their license. There have been issues with these notifications, but as noted above, it is the responsibility of the individual as a licensee to be aware of the expiration date and renew their license before it expires.

  • Licensure Verification and Renewal – The state’s online licensing system permits licensees to renew their license during the 70 days before the expiration date of their license. If a licensee attempts to renew their license before that 70-day period begins, the system will block the renewal because it is too soon to renew. To verify your license information and expiration date, click here. To renew your license, click here.
  • Mandatory Practitioner Profiles – Licensees may update their practitioner profile at any time. Click here for instructions on how to renew your license and update your practitioner profile. The Department of Health requires that licensees update their practitioner profile within 30 days of any event that is required to be reported by law (e.g., change of address, change of practice).

CE Requirements – As a reminder, every person licensed as a pharmacist shall complete at least thirty (30) hours of continuing pharmaceutical education during each two (2) year license cycle. The required thirty (30) hours shall consist of at least fifteen (15) hours obtained through live contact programs. In order to fulfill the fifteen (15) live contact hour requirement, a pharmacist shall obtain the hours from:

  • a program designated as “live” by the ACPE-approved provider;
  • a program that is approved by the Board of Pharmacy prior to the expiration of the pharmacist’s license; OR
  • an out-of-state program that is approved by the board of pharmacy in the state where the program was presented.

The Board emphasized that, for non-ACPE programs that require approval from the Board of Pharmacy, pharmacists should submit their requests to the Board of Pharmacy for approval prior toattending the program or presentation. Click here to view the CE requirements for pharmacist license renewal.

Tennessee Pharmacists Recovery Network (TPRN) – TPA would like to congratulate each of the pharmacists who received reinstatements of their pharmacist licenses from the Board of Pharmacy. The Tennessee Pharmacists Recovery Network (TPRN) provides support and advocacy for pharmacists and student pharmacists in recovery. For more information about TPRN, click here.

Upcoming Board of Pharmacy Meetings

  • September 1-2, 2015
  • November 16-17, 2015

This review is being provided to members for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice.