The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) along with the Federation of State Medical Boards and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy recently issued a statement warning against inappropriate use of prescription medications during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the statement, the boards are aware medical professionals, pharmacies and hospitals are stockpiling medications to prepare for the potential for future demand to treat patients with COVID-19.
These boards state that due to the national emergency, it is even more important for health care providers to follow established guidance when it comes to prescriptions and stocking their facilities. A failure to follow these guidelines may result in medication shortages.
Which medications are at issue?
According to the statement, The Food and Drug Administration has noted inappropriate stocking methods for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate. Medical professionals may have felt the need to stock up on these medications after the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization relaxed restrictions. This change allows medical professionals more flexibility to treat those diagnosed with COVID-19 who could benefit from use of these medications.
What happens if a medical professional does not follow the recommendations noted above?
Although it is unlikely the NCSBN or other boards listed above would respond directly to a violation, the state licensing board may. In New York, this could include an investigation by the New York Office of the Professions.
Nurses in New York are wise to take notification from an agency investigator seriously. You are allowed legal counsel when under investigation. An attorney can advocate for your interests during the investigation and defend your interests if the investigation leads to accusations of wrongdoing.