DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
(Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission)
[Filed September 30, 2021, 8:13 a.m., effective September 30, 2021, 8:13 a.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: WAC 246-945-171 Retired active pharmacist license status, establishing a new section of rule. This adopted emergency rule will extend WSR 21-12-096 filed on June 2, 2021, without change. On March 26, 2020, Governor Inslee signed Proclamation 20-32 to help increase the number of health care workers available to meet the needs of patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This proclamation included a provision that allows a pharmacist with a retired active pharmacist license status to practice pharmacy. Specifically, the proclamation amended WAC 246-863-080(2), which was effective at that time, to allow holders of a retired active pharmacist license status to practice pharmacy while the proclamation remains in effect.
The pharmacy quality assurance commission (commission) updated and consolidated all rules under its authority into one new chapter 246-945 WAC, effective July 1, 2020. In this rewrite process the requirements from WAC 246-863-080 and the retired active pharmacist license status were repealed. Beginning July 1, 2020, chapter 246-945 WAC took effect and the commission no longer enforces WAC 246-863-080. In order to meet the intent of the governor's proclamation and allow retired pharmacists to assist with the COVID[-19] response with pharmacy services, such as vaccine administration, there must be a retired active pharmacist license rule in place. The adopted rule will reinstate the retired active pharmacist credential and allow a pharmacist to apply for a retired active pharmacist license status. The holder of a retired active pharmacist license is allowed to practice during emergent or intermittent circumstances and assist with the COVID-19 response. This emergency rule also establishes the criteria for returning to active status.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: New WAC 246-945-171.
Under RCW 34.05.350
the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: The immediate adoption of WAC 246-945-171 is necessary for the preservation of public health, safety, and general welfare. This rule allows retired pharmacists to assist in the response during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic and is in line with the intent of Governor Inslee's Proclamation 20-32. This emergency rule allows retired pharmacists to help meet the needs of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic through performing pharmacy services such as vaccine administration. Observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest and the governor's orders.
The commission has also authorized permanent rules on this topic and is proceeding with standard rule making as the COVID-19 response allows. A CR-101 to begin the permanent rule-making process was filed on April 19, 2021 (WSR 21-09-063), but will not be complete by the time the current emergency rules expire.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: July 16, 2021.
Teri Ferreira, RPh, Chair
Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission
WAC 246-945-171Retired active pharmacist license status.
(1) A pharmacist may apply for a retired active pharmacist license status if they:
(a) Hold an active pharmacist license issued by the commission under chapter 18.64
RCW that is in good standing;
(b) Submit an application on a form provided by the commission; and
(c) Pay the retired credential application fee as specified in WAC 246-907-030.
(2) A pharmacist with a retired active pharmacist license status shall practice only in emergent or intermittent circumstances.
(a) "Emergent" includes, but is not limited to, earthquakes, floods, times of declared war or other states of emergency.
(b) "Intermittent" means no more than a total of ninety days each year in Washington state.
(3) A pharmacist with a retired active pharmacist license status must renew every year, comply with WAC 246-12-130 and pay the retired credential renewal fee in WAC 246-907-030.
(4) To return to active status, a retired active pharmacist must comply with WAC 246-12-140 and pay the pharmacist license renewal fee in WAC 246-907-030.