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SB346 - Mail-Order Prescription Drugs/Remote Order Entry

Senate Bill 346
Mail-Order Prescription Drugs / Remote Order Entry for Hospital Pharmacies
Effective date: July 1, 2012

Under current law, a pharmacy in Georgia may mail drugs only if: (A) such drug is either mailed directly to the patient or the patient’s guardian, provided that the drug is prescribed for a complex chronic, terminal, or rare condition; the drug is not carried in the regular inventories of retail pharmacies; and the drug has an annual retail value of more than $10,000, among other requirements; or (B) the pharmacy is operated by a health maintenance organization (HMO) and is sending the drugs to an enrollee in the HMO. This bill allows a prescription to be mailed to a patient on behalf of a pharmacy. It also allows a pharmacy to mail a prescription to another pharmacy for a patient to receive the prescription and to receive patient counseling, as required by Georgia law.
This bill also allows hospital pharmacies to dispense prescription drugs upon the review and approval of a pharmacist from a remote location (“remote order entry”). Hospital pharmacies can only use remote order entry when: (i) a licensed pharmacist is not present in the hospital, the pharmacy is closed, and a licensed pharmacist will be present in the pharmacy within 16 hours; OR (ii) when at least one pharmacist is physically present in the hospital pharmacy and at least one other pharmacist is practicing pharmacy in the hospital but not physically present in the hospital pharmacy. Hospital pharmacies must submit written policies and procedures to the Board of Pharmacy that address quality assurance and safety, confidentiality, and mechanisms for real-life communication with patient caregivers, among other issues before using remote order entry.

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