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Retail and pharmacy associations have outlined best practices for documenting signature-free delivery or pickup of prescription drugs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Retail, pharmacy associations offer best practices for touchless prescription fulfillment

FMI, NGA among groups endorsing signature-free prescription pickup and delivery

FMI – The Food Industry Association and the National Grocers Association this week joined with other retail and pharmacy associations to issue a joint statement outlining the best practices for pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to follow for documenting signature-free delivery or pickup of prescription drugs during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Other signees of the statement include the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA).

According to the statement, these best practices are intended to provide clarity so that consumers can feel confident in not having to physically sign for their prescriptions and to address pharmacy concerns about proper documentation for future audits. 

So long as one of the following is included in the delivery documentation, it should suffice for purposes of an audit: 

• The delivery date, time, and words “COVID delivery” in the signature line.

• The delivery date, time, and word “COVID” in the signature line.

• The delivery date, time, and word “COVID-19” in the signature line.

“In an effort to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, FMI appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with PCMA and the pharmacy trade associations to streamline transactions and facilitate a more consistent touchless customer experience regardless of whether the transaction is conducted in pharmacy, via mail order, curbside pickup or delivery,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO, FMI.

“The 20,000 plus community pharmacies have courageously worked on the front line as essential businesses to make sure consumers had access to their prescription medications and other supplies needed to stay safe and healthy including reconfiguring their pharmacy operations to provide contactless delivery of medications,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey. “We appreciate consistent guidance from PBMs in this matter to help assure that pharmacists can focus on their most important job — taking care of patients.”

"Since the outset of COVID-19, NACDS has urged public policy that helps to keep pharmacies open, to protect pharmacy customers and staff, to help patients stay on their medication therapies, and to help meet the needs of those affected by COVID-19 and by other illnesses,” said Steven C. Anderson, president and CEO, NACDS. “These collaborative principles support those goals, and they will benefit patients in this next phase of protecting public health and reopening our communities." 

“On behalf of the over 3,000 independent grocery pharmacies across the country, the National Grocers Association is committed to working with a coalition of stakeholders to protect the health of patients and provide transparency for pharmacies as they continue to serve their communities during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO, NGA. “NGA is encouraged by these best practices and we hope that continued collaboration with all organizations involved will lead to better outcomes for patients.”

“We have appreciated the strong collaboration with our trade association partners on this issue of critical importance to patients seeking safe access to their prescription drugs,” said JC Scott, president and CEO, PCMA. “Open dialogue among stakeholders in the prescription drug supply and payment chain has been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing to work together in the best interest of the patients we serve.”    

For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.

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