On Wednesday, July 20th, Governor Mark Dayton signed the state budget appropriation bills into law, ending the budget impasse that has caused the Board of Pharmacy to be closed since July 1st. The Board office reopened this Thursday morning, July 21st, and will resume its normal operating hours of 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. The Board’s telephone system is now operational and individuals may call the Board at (651)201-2825. The Board’s e-mail system is also back online, so e-mail can once again be sent to email@example.com. The Board’s Web site became operational earlier today. However, due to the state’s conversion to a new accounting system, online services (i.e. new pharmacy techncian registrations, address changes, et cetera) are not yet avaialble.
Since the Board office has been entirely closed for the past three weeks, staff has a large backlog of work. Our initial priority will be issuing licenses and registrations, inspecting new and remodeled facilities, investigating complaints that appear to be critical, handling active disciplinary cases, and resumption of Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) querying and reporting.
PHARMACIST LICENSE APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: Even though you may have accessed your examination scores on the NABP Web site, the Board is still required to complete its normal licensing process. Board staff will verify scores and send out the required paperwork as soon as possible. Do not come into the office until you have received your paperwork in the mail. Also, the Minnesota Legislature approved fee increases for all license and registration types. The new initial pharmacist license fee is now $130. In addition, the Board must still collect the 10% e-licensing surcharge of $13.
In regards to the PMP, Board staff conferred with the vendor that maintains the reporting and querying systems. Due to technical and contracting issues, it may take a period of time to get the PMP querying and reporting features operational. Please check the PMP Web site at http://www.pmp.pharmacy.state.mn.us for status updates.
After clearing the backlog of work in critical areas, staff will resume regular activities as soon as possible, including: finalization of rule changes; processing of continuing education requests; routine facility inspections; investigation of all other complaints; processing of new PMP user applications; provision of technical assistance and all other routine activities.
An ad hoc full Board meeting will be scheduled in August to replace the July 15th meeting that had to be cancelled. (The tentative date is August 10th at 9:00AM, but please check the Board’s Web site next week for verification of that date and time).
Even though the Board and its staff are not responsible for the shutdown, I want to apologize on behalf of the Board for the inconvenience and hardship that our licensees, registrants, applicants and the public may have experienced these last three weeks. I assure you that we will make every effort to return to normal operations as quickly as possible. However, I hope that you will understand that, given our backlog of work, Board staff may not be able to respond as quickly as we normally would.
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