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Ducey issues order allowing some prescription refills without doctor's visit

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Posted at 11:22 AM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 14:22:36-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A new executive order issued by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey allows Arizonans to avoid risky visits to the doctor's office.

Ducey's order allows pharmacists to dispense an emergency refill of medications for a 90-day supply, and another 90-day supply if needed.

The move comes amid the governor's stay-at-home order in Arizona, aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. A news release from the governor's office says the order aims to help seniors, who are more vulnerable to the virus, avoid visits to the doctor's office.

The order also frees up doctors to focus on COVID-19 patients, or potential patients.

According to the news release, the order -- which takes effect Thursday, April 2 -- will:

  • Allow pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of maintenance medications for a 90-day supply and an additional 90-day supply if needed;
  • Waive certain electronic prescribing requirements;
  • Extend the requirement for a prescriber to deliver a follow-up paper prescription to the pharmacy from seven days to 15 days;
  • Allow a phone-in prescription to be sent to the pharmacy via fax, scan, or photo as long as the original, hard copy prescription is kept by the prescriber;
  • Waive certain hospital prescribing labeling restrictions for multidose medications;
  • Allow pharmacists to interchange therapeutically equivalent medications of the same FDA drug classification unless the prescriber has noted that the medication shall be dispensed as written;
  • Waive the requirement for companies producing hand sanitizer to be permitted;
  • And allow an Arizona pharmacy to receive pharmaceuticals from an unpermitted wholesaler, third-party logistics provider, or manufacturer located in another state or country to alleviate pharmaceutical shortages.