Please refer to Guidance Document 110-2 for information on obtaining a pharmacist license by examination, or by reciprocity from another state, also called "licensure by endorsement" or "license transfer".
An applicant for licensure as a pharmacist shall attain a minimum of 1,500 hours of practical experience. Practical experience that is gained within an ACPE-accredited school of pharmacy, that conforms to the current ACPE standards, and that allows the student to gain at least 1,500 hours of practical experience, shall meet the board's practical experience requirements for licensure as a pharmacist. Virginia no longer requires 300 hours of the 1,500 hours of the practical experience to be gained outside the college of pharmacy experiential program.
Any pharmacist who holds a current active, unrestricted license/registration in Virginia may change to inactive status by selecting this option during the annual renewal online and paying the inactive renewal fee. Please note that this option is only available during the annual renewal process. Expired licenses/registrations are ineligible for the change in status.
If a pharmacist does not plan to practice pharmacy in Virginia, taking inactive status will cost less in renewal fee and the pharmacist does not have to obtain 15 hours continuing education (CE) each year. If a pharmacist decides to reactivate an inactive license, he or she will need pay the difference between the active and inactive fee and to obtain the amount of CE that would have been required during that time period up to a maximum of 60 hours total. However, the hours may be obtained at any time between the date inactive status is taken and the date of reactivation. For example, if a pharmacist has been inactive for 3 years, 45 hours of CE is due to reactivate, but all 45 hours may have been obtained the week prior to the reactivation request, rather than 15 hours dated within each year. Pharmacists who have been inactive for more than 5 years, and then want to reactivate, must take and pass the Virginia pharmacy law examination again, and if they cannot provide documentation that they have been practicing in another jurisdiction, must also perform 160 hours as a pharmacy intern in order to be eligible to reactivate.
The Board does not give construction advice other than the requirements listed in regulations, nor does it review and approve plans. Application is required for any new pharmacy or for any remodeling or change of location of an existing pharmacy. Current regulations must be met in any new construction and the new construction must be inspected prior to stocking prescription drugs. Reference: Law- §54.1-3434 and Regulation- 18 VAC 110-20-110 through 200
A pharmacy owner may provide notice to the public in one of two ways. A sign may be conspicuously posted at least 30 days prior to closing or a notice may be mailed to all active refill customers at least 14 days prior to closing. Such notice shall include the expected date of closing, and the name of the pharmacy to which prescriptions and other records will be transferred. In addition, a notice must be provided to the Board at least 14 days prior to closing giving the information provided to the public, an explanation as to how the public notice was given (if by mail, send in a copy of the notice showing date), and notification as to where drugs will be transferred. Reference: Law- §54.1-3434.01 and Regulation- 18 VAC 110-20-130
Board regulation 18VAC110-20-140 states that applications submitted to the Board which indicate a requested inspection date, or requests which are received after the application is filed, shall be honored provided a 14-day notice is allowed prior to the requested inspection date. Occasionally, the inspectors may be able to accommodate an earlier date, but this is dependent on their previously scheduled obligations. Additionally, please note that if the applicant needs to reschedule a previously agreed upon inspection date due to construction delays, vacations, etc., then this may result in an additional delay of 14 days depending upon the inspectors' prior commitments.
Virginia law restricts the dispensing of hypodermic syringes and needles, medicinal oxygen, Schedule VI controlled devices, those Schedule VI controlled substances with no medicinal properties that are used for the operation and cleaning of medical equipment, solutions for peritoneal dialysis, and sterile water or saline for irrigation to either a permitted pharmacy or a permitted medical equipment supplier, therefore, the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) which administers the Medicaid program in Virginia usually requires proof of Virginia licensure in order for a company to be credentialed as a Medicaid provider. The application for a nonresident medical equipment supplier or for a non-resident pharmacy can be downloaded from the forms section of this web page. Reference: Law- §§54.1-3401, 54.1-3434.1, and 54.1-3435.2
If the out-of-state pharmacy is shipping, mailing, or otherwise delivering prescription drugs into Virginia to Virginia residents, registration as a non-resident pharmacy is required. However, if the out-of-state pharmacy is not mailing, shipping, or delivering into Virginia and is only dispensing to Virginia residents who come into the pharmacy to have prescriptions filled, Virginia law does not require registration. The Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) which administers the Medicaid program in Virginia may ask for documentation of Virginia registration as part of the credentialing process to be a Medicaid provider since is has no way of determining if a claim is the result of a mail-order prescription or a walk-in prescription. According to DMAS officials, in lieu of providing a non-resident pharmacy registration, an out-of-state pharmacy may certify to DMAS in writing that it is not a mail-order pharmacy and only fills "walk-in" prescriptions. Proximity of the pharmacy to the Virginia border may also be requested by DMAS. Reference: Law- §54.1-3434.1
The definition in the Code of Virginia for change of ownership means (i) the sale or transfer of all or substantially all of the assets of the entity or of any corporation that owns or controls the entity; (ii) the creation of a partnership by a sole proprietor, the dissolution of a partnership, or change in partnership composition; (iii) the acquisition or disposal of 50 percent or more of the outstanding shares of voting stock of a corporation owning the entity or of the parent corporation of a wholly owned subsidiary owning the entity, except that this shall not apply to any corporation the voting stock of which is actively traded on any securities exchange or in any over-the-counter market; (iv) the merger of a corporation owning the entity or of the parent corporation of a wholly-owned subsidiary owning the entity with another business or corporation; or (v) the expiration or forfeiture of a corporation's charter. Board staff does not have the authority to provide interpretation of this definition. Please consult an attorney regarding any legal questions related to state or federal laws and regulations, including the interpretation and application of the laws and regulations governing the VBOP. If the determination is made that the corporate change meets the definition in statute, an application and fee for the change of ownership must be sent to the Board.
A change of ownership does not result in a change of the permit or registration number.
No one can be present in the prescription department of a pharmacy, and that prescription department must be locked and alarmed, unless a pharmacist is on duty. The term "on duty" as defined in 18 VAC 110-20-10 means that a pharmacist is on the premises at the address of the permitted pharmacy and is available as needed. Further, 18 VAC 110-20-190 (C) provides the pharmacist on duty the discretion to at all times authorize persons to be present in the prescription department or to disallow any person to be in the prescription department.
Yes. Regulation 18VAC110-20-355 E allows the restocking of drugs from will-call provided the pharmacy places an expiration date on the label which in the absence of stability data to the contrary, shall not exceed the expiration date on the manufacturer's container or one year from the date the drug was originally dispensed, whichever date is earlier. The restocked drug should be used to fill the next prescription received for that product. In the event that the drug is not dispensed prior to the new assigned expiration date, it shall be removed from stock and destroyed or otherwise disposed of in accordance with regulations. If there is no lot number on the label of a drug returned to stock or on the prescription records which can be cross referenced from the prescription label, the drug will be removed from stock upon any recall of that drug product and returned to the manufacturer or otherwise disposed of in accordance with regulations. Reference: Regulation 18VAC110-20-355
All containers should be labeled with the same instructions and must reflect the prescriber's complete instructions. Reference: Minutes-June 10, 1997, §54.1-3410 (A)(3) and (B)(2), §54.1-3463 (A)
As explained in §54.1-3307.2, any person who proposes to use a process or procedure related to the dispensing of drugs or devices or to the practice of pharmacy not specifically authorized by Chapter 33 (§ 54.1-3300 et seq.) of this title or by a regulation of the Board of Pharmacy may apply to the Board for approval to use such process or procedure. The submitted application may only contain suggested processes or procedures which are within the current scope of the practice of pharmacy, that relate to the form or format of prescriptions, the manner of transmitting prescriptions or prescription information, the manner of required record keeping, the use of unlicensed ancillary personnel in the dispensing process, and the use of new technologies in the dispensing process. An innovative (pilot) program shall not expand the current scope of practice of pharmacists. The Board may choose to deny the proposed program, approve the program as submitted, or approve the program based on specific terms and conditions. For more information regarding innovative (pilot) programs or for a copy of a Consent Order related to an innovative program, please contact the Board office directly. Reference: §54.1-3307.2 and 18VAC110-20-121
A pharmacy may provide non-compounded prescription drugs to a practitioner, who is otherwise authorized to possess such drugs, for “office use” in accordance with §54.1-3435.02 of the Drug Control Act, which states that a permitted pharmacy may engage in wholesale distributions of small quantities of prescription drugs without being licensed as a wholesale distributor when such wholesale distributions are in compliance with federal law as follows: such wholesale distributions of controlled substances do not exceed five percent of the gross annual sales of prescription drugs by the relevant permitted pharmacy or such wholesale distributions of Schedules II through V controlled substances do not exceed five percent of the total dosage units of the Schedule II through V controlled substances dispensed annually by the pharmacy. Occasionally, a physician will request prescription drugs by providing the pharmacy with a prescription indicating “For Office Use Only” in the name field. This does not constitute a valid prescription because it is not issued in the name of a specific patient for a specific drug that resulted from a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship. Pharmacists must not dispense prescriptions written “For Office Use Only.” To properly transfer the requested drugs, the pharmacist must create an invoice containing the following information: the date of transfer, the name and address of the physician to whom the drugs are to be transferred, the name and address of the pharmacy from where the drugs were transferred, and the kind and quantity of drugs transferred. The transferring pharmacy maintains the original invoice for two years from the date of transfer and provides a copy to the receiving physician or pharmacy. Once received, the physician must indicate the date of receipt on the invoice and maintain the invoice for two years from the date of receipt. If the requested drug is classified as Schedule II, the physician wishing to obtain the drug must execute a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Form 222 as the “purchaser” and provide this form to the transferring pharmacy. The transferring pharmacy would then complete DEA Form 222 acting as the “supplier” in this instance. Copies of DEA Form 222 must then be properly forwarded as required by federal law. If maintaining a separate record of the distribution electronically in the pharmacy’s computer, pharmacists must ensure that the information is not transmitted to the PMP with other dispensing records. Assigning a “prescription” number to the transaction may result in the distribution information being uploaded to the PMP.
Effective July 1, 2022, to be registered with the Board as a pharmacy technician, an applicant who enrolls in a pharmacy technician training program shall provide:
Information regarding obtaining certification from PTCB may be accessed at www.ptcb.org and the Board’s online application may be accessed at www.license.dhp.virginia.gov/apply/. Information for the ExCPT exam may be accessed at www.nhanow.com. The URL link for information regarding ASHP/ACPE accreditation is: https://www.ashp.org/professional-development/technician-program accreditation?loginreturnUrl=SSOCheckOnly
The paper application for registration as a pharmacy technician has been replaced with an online application. The online application may be accessed on our website at www.license.dhp.virginia.gov/apply/.
Effective July 1, 2022, Pharmacy Technician Training program registration is no longer required and the approval of a Pharmacy Technician Training Program by the Board is no longer required. However, the program must satisfy one of the criteria listed below.
The URL link for information regarding ASHP/ACPE accreditation is: https://www.ashp.org/professional-development/technician-program accreditation?loginreturnUrl=SSOCheckOnly.
For complete information regarding the ExCPT exam, please visit the ICPT website at www.nhanow.com.
Information about applying to take the PTCB can be found at www.ptcb.org.
A person who wishes to perform the duties of a pharmacy technician while enrolled in an approved pharmacy technician training program must first apply for and be issued a registration as a Pharmacy Technician Trainee. This new requirement became effective on 1/3/2021 under emergency regulation 18VAC110-21-135.
There is no inactive status for a pharmacy technician registration.
Yes, a pharmacy technician must complete 5 hours of continuing education each year to renew the registration regardless of status of employment in a pharmacy.
A pharmacy technician with a registration that has been expired for more than one year, but less than five years must submit an application for reinstatement of their registration and have it approved prior to performing the duties of a pharmacy technician.
Any pharmacy technician who fails to renew or reinstate his/her registration within 5 years must retake a pharmacy technician training program that is 1) jointly accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), or 2) an accredited training program operated through the Department of Education’s (DOE) Career and Technical Education program, or 3) a program operated through a federal agency or branch of the military, or 4) a program accredited by an accreditation body approved by the board and pass a national certification examination administered by PTCB or NHA or hold a current PTCB or NHA certification, and submit an application to the board for a new pharmacy technician registration.
The law requires a minimum of 5 contact hours per calendar year. You should receive all your certificates prior to sending in the license renewal in order to properly attest that you have met the requirements. The certificates should be dated between January 1 and December 31, inclusive, of the calendar year they are used.
No. The law does not allow any carryover. Although some states permit courses to be taken over a two-year period, Virginia does not. This means a pharmacy technician registered in Virginia must obtain at least 5 CPE hours each and every calendar year.
Yes. A one-time extension may be possible if the request is made in writing to the Board prior to renewal.
Yes. In order to meet the CPE requirements, courses must be either ACPE approved or certain Category 1 CME or a program approved by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. Any credits taken that do not meet these requirements cannot be used to satisfy CPE hours.
Whenever the Board contacts you, you should respond promptly. Failure to respond may cause the Board to pursue disciplinary action. If the Board audits your continuing pharmacy education credits, find your original certificates and make a copy for yourself. Send the originals to the Board office by the deadline in the letter. Although not required, you may want to send your response by certified mail so that you have proof of mailing. If you have lost some or all of your certificates, you should immediately contact the respective providers for a replacement certificate and inform the Board of your actions. The Board has approved standard sanctions for CE non-compliance which can be found in guidance document 110-42.
Here are some suggestions that may help you to keep your CPE records organized and avoid disciplinary action:
Store your original certificates in a safe place where they are unlikely to be thrown out by mistake.
Keep a copy of your certificates, or at least a record of the course number, provider and date, in a secondary safe location (not with the originals). These are a back-up if you lose the originals.
BEFORE YOU RENEW YOUR LICENSE, look at your original certificates and verify compliance with the CPE requirements:
5 contact hours in pharmacy continuing education (some courses may carry a different number of credits for other professions)
ACPE approved (look for the logo), or Category 1 CME courses focused on pharmacy, pharmacology or drug therapy, or a program approved by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy
Each of your CPE certificates show a “date issued” on or prior to December 31 for the year in question.
Note that it is your responsibility to maintain your CPE records for the current and two previous calendar years. You must complete the hours before you send in the licensure renewal.
Yes, the physician must obtain from the Board of Pharmacy a license to dispense. There are two dispensing licenses offered by the Board of Pharmacy as outlined in guidance document 110-29. The more commonly issued license is the “practitioners of the healing arts to sell controlled substances” license and it authorizes a physician to dispense drugs to his own patients only from a facility that has obtained a permit for this specific purpose.
Yes. The term “controlled substance” as defined in 54.1-3401 of the Drug Control Act includes all prescription drugs.
No. The physician must only obtain one dispensing license and he may dispense from any selling location that maintains a facility permit from the Board of Pharmacy for this purpose.
The physician must submit to the Board of Pharmacy the “Application for a License for a Practitioner of the Healing Arts to Sell Controlled Substances” found on Pharmacy's Forms and Applications page. A check or money order made payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia” for $180 must accompany the application. The physician must also submit the “Application for a Facility Permit for Practitioner(s) of the Healing Arts to Sell Controlled Substances” for each location in Town A and Town B. The fee for inspecting and permitting each location is $240, unless only one physician will be dispensing from the location. If only one physician will be dispensing from the location, there is no fee for obtaining and renewing the facility permit, however the facility permit must still be obtained and renewed annually. Prior to the physician being authorized to dispense drugs from either location, the physician must be issued his or her license to dispense drugs, and an inspector of the Department of Health Professions must inspect and approve each location. Inspectors require 14 days from the date of receipt of a complete facility permit application to schedule the inspection date.
No. Each physician must obtain his own license to dispense and may only dispense from a location that maintains a facility permit for this purpose.
Pursuant to Regulation 18VAC110-30-21 and the delegation of authority to the Executive Director, in consultation with the Board Chairman as set forth in Bylaws of the Board, for good cause shown a physician may apply for a limited-use license, when the scope, degree or type of services provided to the patient is of a limited nature. Under a limited-use license, a waiver of the square footage requirement for the controlled substances selling and storage area may be provided. Additionally, the executive director may grant a waiver of the security system when storing and selling multiple strengths and formulations of no more than five different topical Schedule VI drugs intended for cosmetic use.
At the time the physician submits the “Application for a Facility Permit for Practitioner(s) of the Healing Arts to Sell Controlled Substances”, it is recommended that he or she also submits a waiver request with the Board of Pharmacy regarding the security system and storage area. An inspector of the Department of Health Professions will come to the physician’s office to conduct an initial inspection. No drugs may be dispensed from this location until the Board has issued the facility permit.
No, only the licensed physician may dispense drugs. The physician assistant or nurse practitioner may not dispense drugs.
No. Nurses, to include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, office managers, and other office personnel may not have access to the approved drug selling area while the physician is not present on site.
Yes. The selling and storage area may be in an office that is exclusively used by the licensee and to which only the licensee has access provided the portion of the office used exclusively for controlled substances storage and preparation is at least 40 square feet; provided the drugs are stored in a cabinet, closet or other lockable area which can be locked when the practitioner is using the office for purposes other than dispensing; and provided the office meets all other requirements of 18VAC110-30-90, 18VAC110-30-120, and 18VAC110-30-130.
Yes. A drug dispensed by a physician under a dispensing license must leave the physician’s office with a label containing the following minimal information:
A sign must be conspicuously displayed in the public area of the office, such as the registration desk, and in each patient examination room advising patients of their right to choose where they have their prescriptions filled.
Yes. The law does not state in what form the phrase should appear. However, the prescriber must handwrite the phrase in order to ensure payment for a branded product for Medicaid patients when there are generics available in the marketplace.
See Board of Pharmacy, Guidance Document 110-35 available on the Board's website under guidance documents.
Certain outpatient written prescriptions are required to be on tamper-resistant prescription pads. This includes enrollees of Medicaid, MEDALLION, FAMIS, and FAMIS Plus fee-for-service, and "dual eligibles" when Medicare Part D is the primary payor and Medicaid the secondary. This is the result of a federal law that affects certain prescriptions paid for by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This is not a Board of Pharmacy initiative or requirement. Information regarding the tamper resistant prescription mandate can be found on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website. For additional information, contact the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) at email@example.com
While not required, it is strongly suggested that each pharmacy perform a self-inspection using the applicable sections of the inspection report. Performing a self-inspection will assist the pharmacist-in-charge in identifying possible areas of noncompliance that need correcting. The creation of a notebook or folder containing all required inventories, along with information indicating the location of all required documents for an inspector to review, is essential in ensuring that all staff, including floater staff who may be on duty at the time of an unannounced inspection, know where to locate required documents. The information should also give instruction on how to locate required documents electronically since much of the required documentation may be kept in this manner. This level of organization will decrease the citing of unnecessary deficiencies, for example, citing a deficiency for not performing and maintaining a biennial inventory when in reality the inventory had been performed, but could not be located during the inspection. In addition to performing a self-inspection, it is best practice for every pharmacist to familiarize themselves with the changes in statutes and regulations. Regularly reviewing the Board's Guidance Documents as well as Board newsletters and emails to licensee is a good way to stay up to date on these changes.
The inspector will provide the pharmacist-in-charge or pharmacist on-duty with a link via email to download the inspection document from the Board's Box account. This link is only available for a limited time therefore it is best to download the inspection documents shortly after it is sent by the inspector. If there are any questions regarding the results of the inspection or if the link expires and a copy of the inspection is needed, please have the pharmacist-in-charge send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If no deficiencies were found, this will be indicated on the summary and inspection report. If deficiencies were identified, then it will state the inspector's observations regarding the cited deficiencies. If the cited deficiencies warrant a monetary penalty, the modified consent order will also be included in the Box link sent via email. This legal document will offer the pharmacy permit holder options for resolution of the inspection deficiencies which may require signing and returning this document to the Board office. It will then become a public document and therefore, this document should be kept clean at all times.
If the pharmacy permit holder does not agree with the inspector's findings, then he may contact the Board office within 14 days to submit documentation contesting the inspector's findings, or within 30 days, he may request, in writing, an informal conference to further discuss this matter before a committee of the Board.
It is possible that a pharmacy may be subject to lesser or greater monetary penalties during an informal conference should additional findings warrant these changes.
Information regarding monetary penalties may be found in Guidance Document 110-9.
No. The pharmacy permit holder must submit payment, along with the signed consent order, to the Board office for any monetary penalties within 30 days from the date of inspection.
No. The inspection process was created to expedite the disciplinary process resulting from routine inspections and decrease travel costs associated with requiring Board members to attend informal conferences to resolve disciplinary cases associated with inspections. Additionally, the law requires that all monetary penalties imposed by the Board must be transferred to the Literary Fund of Virginia and cannot remain with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.