Mass. General Laws c.94C § 19E

Dispense of COVID-19 control drugs

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Updates

(a)

As used in this section and unless the context clearly requires otherwise, “COVID-19 control measure” shall mean a COVID-19 drug, COVID-19 test or other COVID-19 diagnostic device approved or otherwise authorized by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

(b)

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner or an actively practicing physician who currently prescribes a COVID-19 drug, is designated by the commissioner and is registered to prescribe or dispense a controlled substance in the course of professional practice under section 7 may issue a standing order that may be used for a licensed pharmacist to dispense a COVID-19 control measure. A standing order issued pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to, written standardized procedures or protocols developed by the commissioner, in collaboration with an actively practicing physician who currently prescribes a COVID-19 drug. Such procedures and protocols shall be consistent with the federal Food and Drug Administration’s revised Emergency Use Authorization for Paxlovid issued July 6, 2022 and declarations issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act.

(c)

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a pharmacist may dispense a COVID-19 control measure in accordance with a standing order issued under subsection (b); provided, however, that before dispensing a COVID-19 drug authorized under this section, a pharmacist shall complete a training program approved by the commissioner on COVID-19 drugs that shall include, but not be limited to, evaluation of the patient’s medical history and relevant records including recent reports of laboratory blood work to review for kidney or liver problems, clinical considerations relative to contraindications with commonly prescribed medications, recommendations for clinical monitoring for side effects and appropriate recommendation that the patient follow up with a medical practitioner.

(d)

A pharmacist who dispenses a COVID-19 control measure in accordance with a standing order issued under subsection (b) shall, upon request, report to the department on the doses, tests or devices dispensed. Reports shall be confidential and shall not constitute a public record under clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4. The department shall publish an annual report that includes aggregate information about the dispensing of COVID-19 control measures in the commonwealth.

(e)

A pharmacist who dispenses a COVID-19 control measure pursuant to this section shall, for the purposes of health insurance billing and cost-sharing, treat the transaction as the dispensing of a prescription to the person purchasing the COVID-19 control measure in accordance with the standing order. Unless the person purchasing the COVID-19 control measure requests to pay for the prescription out-of-pocket, the pharmacist shall make a reasonable effort to identify the purchaser’s insurance coverage and submit a claim for the COVID-19 control measure to the insurance carrier prior to dispensing the COVID-19 control measure.

(f)

Except for an act of gross negligence or willful misconduct, the commissioner or a physician who issues a statewide standing order under subsection (b) and any pharmacist who, acting in good faith, directly or through the standing order, dispenses a COVID-19 control measure in accordance with a standing order issued under said subsection (b) shall not be subject to any criminal or civil liability or any professional disciplinary action.

(g)

The department, the board of registration in medicine and the board of registration in pharmacy may promulgate regulations to implement this section.

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Last updated: November 10, 2022

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