On October 1, 2020, the California State Board of Pharmacy amended Title 16, Cal. Code of Regulations, Section 1707.2. The section explains the requirements for providing patient consultations when medications are delivered or mailed. Pharmacies that deliver or mail must provide their patients with a written notice of the hours of availability for consultation and a phone number patients can call to consult with a pharmacist who has ready access to the patient’s records.
The amended section now requires a pharmacist to be available to speak to the patient or the patient’s agent “during regular hours of operation within 10 minutes, unless a return call is scheduled to occur within one hour.” Most importantly, the new section requires a pharmacist to be available to provide consultation at least six days a week and at least 40 hours a week. This new requirement may present a problem for pharmacies that are open only 5 days a week.
We learned from a few recent Board inspections that the inspectors are requiring pharmacies to update their policies and procedures reflecting these changes. If you do not have the updated policy, you can download it here.