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​Pennsylvania Further Extends Temporary Waiver of Certain CPR Rules for Pharmacists

December 21, 2020

On March 22, 2020, the Department of State issued a waiver, Pennsylvania Expands Access to Pharmacy Services, temporarily suspending the requirement that pharmacists with active Authorizations to Administer Injectables maintain active certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Pursuant to that waiver, if a pharmacist held a valid CPR certificate on March 17, 2020, the State Board of Pharmacy has treated that certification as valid through December 31, 2020.

With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, securing in-person CPR recertification training classes is once again becoming difficult. Some licensees' CPR certificates will expire before they are able to get into a class by December 31, 2020. For those reasons, the Department requested, and the Governor approved, an extension of the previous temporary suspension of the CPR requirements for an additional 90 days, until March 31, 2021.

The extension of the previous waiver will ensure that licensed pharmacists who hold active Authorizations to Administer Injectables, but have been unable to obtain CPR recertification, will continue to be able to administer injectables. As long as a pharmacist held a CPR certificate that was valid on March 17, 2020, such certification will be accepted by the Board as valid through March 31, 2021. This is particularly critical now that the COVID vaccine is starting to become available; licensed pharmacists with an Authorization to Administer Injectables are among the licensees permitted to administer the vaccine.

Pharmacists who fall within this group may take an online CPR training class in lieu of in-person training to allow them to renew their CPR certification prior to the new, extended deadline of March 31, 2021. This does not affect the current biennial renewals for pharmacists and for authorizations to administer injectables. Those renewals are still due by December 29, 2020 (having been extended from the original deadline of Sept. 30, 2020, pursuant to previous, unrelated waivers).

This waiver continues to apply to only those pharmacists with an Authorization to Administer Injectables who held a valid CPR certificate as of March 17, 2020. It does not allow new applicants to obtain an Authorization to Administer Injectables without obtaining a CPR certificate.