Hurricane Idalia: Early Prescription Refills Permitted Under State of Emergency

Posted in Latest News on August 27, 2023 .

On August 26, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency to prepare for Hurricane Idalia.

Medical professionals and workers, social workers, and counselors with good and valid professional licenses issued by states other than the State of Florida may render such services in Florida during this emergency for persons affected by this emergency with the condition that such services be rendered to such persons free of charge, and with the further condition that such services be rendered under the auspices of the American Red Cross or the Florida Department of Health.

Under a state of emergency, a pharmacist can dispense an existing refill prescription early to persons who reside in an area or county covered under the executive order and to emergency personnel who have been activated by their state or local agency but do not reside in an area or county covered by this executive order. An early refill may include controlled substances as long as the medical drug is not listed in Schedule II appearing in Chapter 893, Florida Statutes, of the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Under this state of emergency and pursuant to section 252.358, Florida Statutes, all health insurers, managed care organizations, and other entities that are licensed by the Office of Insurance Regulation shall waive time restrictions on early refills.

Pursuant to section 465.0275, Florida Statutes, in the event a pharmacist receives a request for a prescription refill and the pharmacist is unable to readily obtain refill authorization from the prescriber, pharmacists may dispense up to a 30-day supply of medication that is essential to the maintenance of life or to the continuation of therapy in a chronic condition.

In accordance with section 465.019(4)(b), Florida Statutes, a hospital that operates a Class II or Class III institutional pharmacy located in an area or county covered under this executive order may prescribe and dispense a supply of a medicinal drug lasting up to 72 hours.

In the event a pharmacist receives a request for a prescription refill and the pharmacist is unable to readily obtain refill authorization from the prescriber, the pharmacist may dispense a one-time emergency refill of up to a 72-hour supply of the prescribed medication; or a one-time emergency refill of one vial of insulin to treat diabetes mellitus, irrespective of the issuance of an executive order.

The full version of the Governor’s Executive Order may be found at: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/EO-23-175.pdf



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