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News & Press: COVID-19

WMC Statement on Chloroquine, WSPA Staff meets with OIC, and FDA Supply Chain Survey A

Monday, March 23, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jenny Arnold
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March 23rd Updates


The Washington State Medical Commission Issues a Statement on Chloroquine

Late last week many pharmacists reached out to WSPA expressing concerns regarding prescribing of hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and azithromycin. We heard of  prescriptions. The State Health Officer Kathy Lofy and PQAC Executive Director Lauren Lyles reached out to the WSPA with regard to these concerns. Dr. Lyles worked through the weekend with the Medical Commission to address your concerns. Below is the Medical Commission's statement they issued this afternoon. 


"According to FDA, there are no FDA-approved therapeutics to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19, there are several FDA-approved treatments that may help ease the symptoms from a supportive care perspective. Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine are not yet FDA-approved for COVID-19. We understand research is currently underway with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin and acknowledge that these drugs may be helpful at certain stages of the disease.

We want providers and pharmacists to act with their best discretion to ensure patients continue to receive appropriate treatment in time of shortages. However, we discourage inappropriate prescribing of this medication for prophylaxis, which may restrict access for patients that really need appropriate therapy such as those patients in our state with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and malaria diagnoses. Additionally the Washington Medical Commission has existing policy taking a position against self-treatment and prescribing for family members, if that is the case or if applicable, which is based on an American Medical Association code of ethics statement from 1993.

Please review RCW 69.41.040 for appropriate prescribing requirements and practice good stewardship over the drug supply chain. Thanks for your attention during these unprecedented times."


WSPA Staff Met with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner

WSPA's Chief Executive Officer Jeff Rochon, Pharm.D., FAPhA and Director of Government Affairs Dedi Little met with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commission Staff on Monday to voice member concerns regarding PBM contract requirements that negatively impact patient’s timely access to medications during the COVID-19 Pandemic. They met with 9 members of the OIC staff to ask for protection from retrospective audits and clawbacks. Specifically, they voiced concerns about limits to local delivery and mail, signature logs, prior authorization delays, and narrow pharmacy networks. Concerns about prompt updating of MAC prices with medication shortages and extreme price fluctuations were also expressed.


The WSPA recognized the statements by some PBMs to ease restrictions, but requested the OIC to make a statement similar to the recent Ohio Insurance Commissioner prohibiting audits during this timeframe. The OIC was receptive to our profession’s concerns and WSPA is working with members to formalize a series of requests to protect patient access by protecting pharmacies. 


FDA Survey on Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Please complete the survey by March 25th at 3 pm 


As the U.S. remains vigilant in addressing COVID-19, demand for drugs used for treatment and supportive care is also increasing. Premier, in conjunction with Health and Human Services (HHS) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is surveying hospitals to understand the current inventories of medications used to take care of patients. We urge you to participate as this information is critical to understand the nimbleness of the pharmaceutical supply chain and how we can proactively address any warning signals regarding a potential shortage. Access the questionnaire online.  


more Calendar

Webinar: COVID-19 and What You can Do For Your Immune System (and Your Patients)

Webinar: A Breath of Fresh Air in CF Care: Updates in Treatment and Role of Pharmacy in Care Center

WSPA Ambulatory Care Academy Meeting-Virtual

Online Surveys
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