September 3, 2021

New reading of old rule could hurt Nevada patients’ access to meds

The Nevada Board of Pharmacy has asked the state’s attorney general’s office whether state law requires that all out-of-state pharmacists who compound for patients in the state hold a Nevada pharmacist’s license. That’s pharmacists not pharmacies.

The law in question “requires any pharmacist compounding or dispensing any prescription for a controlled substance or dangerous drug for a patient located in Nevada to be registered with the board.”

For decades, the state has interpreted that to mean — as it does in most other states — that the out-of-state facility and (in some states) the pharmacist-in-charge must be licensed in Nevada. Now it seems to be considering the possibility that any individual pharmacist compounders who touches a compounded prescription to be shipped to Nevada must hold Nevada licenses.

Such a novel requirement would be onerous for pharmacies, clearly. But more importantly, it would cause untold disruption for patients’ medication access. Out-of-state compounding pharmacies — especially larger, national companies — would need to consider whether the burden of licensing every pharmacist in Nevada is worth the benefits of shipping to the state at all. And because the rule is not only related to compounded preparations, so would any entity — like, say, ExpressScripts, which employs hundreds of pharmacists — that ships medications into Nevada.

While it waits for the AG’s opinion, the BoP there is requiring all out-of-state pharmacist compounders to obtain a temporary license.