The May Illinois Board of Pharmacy Meeting was held on Tuesday, May 10th in the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. The following are the highlights of that meeting.
New Faces in the Division of Professional Regulation – Jay Stewart was introduced to the Board of Pharmacy and guests at the opening of the meeting. Mr. Stewart was confirmed by the Illinois Senate in early May as the replacement of Director Dan Bluthardt, who left in the fall of 2010. Acting Director Don Seasock is now the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Department. Nancy Hall was also introduced as a new pharmacy investigator for the central region of Illinois. She will work out of the Springfield office and will assist Investigator Maureen Antwaar with investigations south of I-80. It was also announced at this meeting that long-time investigator Rob Skrocki will be retiring as of May 20, 2011. The Board voted unanimously to send a letter of appreciation to Mr. Skrocki for his years of dedicated service.
NABP MPJE Item Writing Workshop – Board member Ned Milenkovich participated in an item-writing workshop in April at NABP headquarters and generated 25 new items for the Illinois portion of the multi-state pharmacy jurisprudence exam. These items will begin appearing on the MPJE shortly for validity testing before they can be used in the scored portion of the exam.
NABP Annual Meeting – The NABP 2011 Annual Meeting will be held on May 21-24th in San Antonio, TX. The Board Members planning to attend are Board Chair, Phil Burgess; Board Vice Chair, Sudhir Manek; Miriam Mobley-Smith, Ron Weinert; and Ned Milenkovich. The Board Chair normally serves as the Illinois delegate to the NABP House of Delegates. Each Board Member pays for his or her own way to this event.
Medication Safety Presentation – Mary Baker, pharmacist at Hospira presented to the Board on the USP Chapter 797 requirements at the request of Board Member Miriam Mobley-Smith. Ms. Baker served as a member of the USP committee that updated the Chapter released in 2008 and provided a very comprehensive review of Chapter 797. She urged the Board to support the requirement of it as the sterile product preparation regulations for Illinois. Twenty-two states have implemented the Chapter as their own regulations for this important area of pharmacy practice. Illinois’ current regulations are not as comprehensive as USP Chapter 797, but because the USP is not a government agency of the federal government or Illinois, the Board cannot enforce on these standards unless they are specified in the Pharmacy Practice Act.
MatchRx.Com – The Board discussed this Michigan-based company that works to pair up pharmacies that have overstock they wish to sell with prospective buyers. There is a problem with the process in Illinois because the pharmacy selling the product must have a valid wholesale distributor license in order to sell product to another pharmacy. While the concept may be intriguing for pharmacies that have over-purchased products, there are serious concerns with issues that include pedigree, storage, handling and counterfeit medications. MatchRx.com has not broken any laws, but pharmacies that use the service may be involved in illegal activities if appropriate licenses and ethical practices are not in place.
Legislative Update – Mike Patton, IPhA Executive Director presented an update to the Board members. A complete update of pharmacy related legislation still active in the Illinois General Assembly may be found in the “GAS from Springfield” column in this issue.
Prosecutions – Scott Golden, pharmacy prosecutor for the Department reported that there are approximately 106 cases in some stage of prosecution with the Department. Here is breakdown of categories of cases currently being prosecuted with most frequent categories listed first:
15 Pharmacy Technician Cases
53 Pharmacist Cases
sister state prosecutions
38 Entity-related (pharmacies, distributors) cases
Failure to exercise good faith dispensing
Expired controlled substance license
Improper pharmacy closing
Next Meeting – The next meeting of the Illinois Board of Pharmacy will take place on Tuesday, July 12th at 9:30AM at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. The meeting is open to the public and interested pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy students should consider attending.