By: | Sep-7-17

Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic, made landfall in southern Florida on Sunday causing widespread destruction. Photo: NASA

  • NACDS partner Healthcare Ready has activated for Hurricane Irma and is prepared to support pharmacy partners in responding to the storm. Rx Open, an interactive map that helps patients and providers find nearby open pharmacies in areas impacted by the disaster, is activated for Puerto Rico and Florida. Healthcare Ready is helping route and coordinate supply donations. If your pharmacy has a healthcare supply need or your pharmacy is able to donate supplies, please email:
  • Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida:
    • Section 4.G.—Pharmacists may dispense up to a 30 day emergency Rx maintenance fill to “persons who reside in an area or county covered under this executive order and to emergency personnel who have been activated by their state and local agency but who do not reside in an area or county covered by this executive order.”
    • Section 8.—Medical professionals, social workers, and counselors with good/valid professional licenses issued by other states may render services in Florida during this emergency for persons affected by this emergency as long as it is free of charge, and under auspices of American Red Cross or Florida Department of Health.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., declared a public health emergency in Florida on September 7 due to Hurricane Irma. In addition, he has taken action that gives HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) beneficiaries and their healthcare providers and suppliers greater flexibility in meeting emergency health needs.
  • Register with The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center to maintain private sector situational awareness and share resources.
  • Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for Georgia on September 10 Emergency Refill Dispensing rules are in effect for the duration of the emergency. The Georgia Board of Pharmacy put its public emergency policy in place. The policy specifically addresses emergency refill dispensing of prescription drugs (excluding controlled substances), temporary recognition of nonresident licensure, and temporary pharmacy facilities.
  • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared  a state of emergency for North Carolina on September 6. Pharmacies should follow Rule .1815 to provide emergency prescription refills. Additionally, please see the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s bulletin reminding health benefit plans of compliance requirements for operations under a state of emergency for purposes of obtaining extra prescriptions during a state of emergency or disaster.
  • Alabama Governor Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency for Alabama on September 8.  The timeframe for emergency prescription refills has been extended from 72 hours to 30 days. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has implemented the voucher system for evacuees in south Alabama. When the voucher is presented, the pharmacist fills the prescription at cost plus the current Medicaid fee rate. The pharmacist will enter the list of the medications that are to be filled with a price for each.
  • South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in South Carolina on September 6. The South Carolina Board of Pharmacy has guidelines for emergency refills and information on protecting a pharmacy before, during and after a hurricane.
  • Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam issued an executive order September 9 allowing healthcare providers licensed in another state to practice in Tennessee; pharmacists to dispense a 14-day supply to evacuees; and for evacuees to receive department of health services that normally require Tennessee residency.
  • HealthMap’s Vaccine Finder is a free, online service where users can search for locations that offer immunizations. HealthMap works with partners such as clinics, pharmacies, and health departments to provide accurate and up-to-date information about vaccination services.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning after a hurricane in English and Spanish. NACDS’ partners at CDC asked NACDS to share this information with members, as the issue is not being covered widely enough in the media.