Automated pharmacies for long-term care facilities passed

Senators gave final approval May 29 to a bill that allows automated pharmacies to operate in long-term care facilities.

Under LB326, introduced by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, a Nebraska-licensed pharmacist can install and operate pharmacies in long-term care facilities. The pharmacist in charge of the automated pharmacy is required to develop and implement policies for security, accountability and drug and medical order verification to ensure compliance with the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and must also be in compliance with the drug storage and five-year record-keeping requirement of the Pharmacy Practice Act.

The bill requires that each pharmacy be registered annually and allows pharmacists to supervise a pharmacist technician operating the automated pharmacy by way of a real-time auditory and video communication system.

Additionally, the bill clarifies that the management of a long-term care facility where an automated medication system is located cannot require a resident of the facility to obtain medication through the automated medication system or restrict or impair the resident’s ability to obtain medications from the pharmacy of his or her choice unless otherwise allowed by state or federal law or regulation.

The bill passed on a 46-0 vote.

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