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COVID-19 Information Page

COVID-19 - Federal DEA Controlled Drug Prescription Guidance - National State of Emergency


During this National Emergency the Diversion Control Division will continue to work with its Federal partners, DEA registrants, and their representative association to assure that there is an adequate supply of controlled substances in the United States. The DEA will also work to assure that patients will have access to controlled substances.

On March 16, 2020, the DEA published a COVID-19 Information Page on the Diversion Control Divisions Web Site. This page contains important guidance concerning COVID-19 and the national drug supply, electronic prescribing of controlled substances, telemedicine, medicated assisted treatment, and other important federal and state information. This site will be updated frequently as new information and guidance is issued. Please check back frequently for further information.

DEA Decision Tree



WHEREAS, since December 1, 2019, there have been over 952,171 people worldwide diagnosed with a novel coronavirus disease now known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19);

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, His Excellency, Governor Christopher T. Sununu, issued Executive Order 2020-04 declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19;

WHEREAS, there are now more than 540 people who have tested positive in New Hampshire for COVID-19 and numerous other suspected cases are under investigation;

WHEREAS, the Department has been monitoring reported drug shortages and finds that there is a statewide shortage and/or threatened shortage of the following medications that may be used to treat COVID-19: chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and albuterol inhalers; and

WHEREAS, the Commissioner has determined individuals diagnosed with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, those hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and those patients with COVID-19 enrolled in a clinical trial are high risk or critical needs groups that shall receive priority for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine; and

WHEREAS, the Commissioner has determined individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and individuals already established on albuterol inhalers are high risk or critical needs groups that shall receive priority for albuterol inhalers; and

WHEREAS, to ensure individuals in the high risk or critical needs group have access to necessary medications, and to avoid any disruptions to current treatments, the Commissioner finds it is necessary to control, restrict, and ration chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and albuterol inhalers.

Now therefore, in consultation and with concurrence of His Excellency, Governor Christopher T. Sununu, and pursuant to RSA 21-P:53, III, it is hereby ordered, effective immediately, that:

  1. Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and albuterol inhalers shall be subject to the following controls, restrictions, and rationing:

a) Outpatient prescriptions for patients not already established on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine shall be limited to a 30-day supply.

b) No prescriptions of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine shall be issued or dispensed as prophylaxis treatment for COVID-19. 

c)  Prescribing providers, when issuing a prescription in any form for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, must document an indication for all patients, including patients already established on these medications.

d) For albuterol inhalers, prescribing providers shall limit prescriptions to one inhaler with up to three refills for all new prescriptions to treat respiratory symptoms of COVID-19.  

e)  For all prescriptions of albuterol inhalers, pharmacists shall conduct a prospective drug utilization review to ensure adherence to asthma controller or maintenance medications, and counsel patients that are non-compliant and over-utilizing rescue inhalers.

  1. This Order shall remain in effect until the State of Emergency declared by the Governor is terminated, or this Order is rescinded, whichever shall happen first.

COVID-19 Resources for NH Pharmacists

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-evolving situation. At NHPA will do our best to keep our members advised of information that is relevant to pharmacy practice in NH. Please check out our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Here are some important updates for this week:

Based on these emergency provisions, pharmacists may refill maintenance medication prescriptions that are out of refills for a 90-day supply WITHOUT the authorization of the provider.

CDC recommends that people contact their healthcare provider to obtain extra medications in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the community and people need to stay home for a prolonged period of time. As a result, medical offices are being inundated with refill requests from patients. Pharmacists can reduce this burden by following this emergency provision.

This is also a key time to stress medication adherence with your patients that have underlying medical conditions. According to CDC, COVID-19 illness may be more severe in individuals with certain underlying medical conditions especially if they are not well controlled.

NHPA has created a COVID-19 forum for our members.  If you are interested in this service and are a current member of NHPA, please sign up at our website . You can use this forum to communicate with other pharmacists and technicians in the state.


Request for Healthcare Professional Volunteers – COVID19 Response

The NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS), along with the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC) are looking for healthcare professionals to volunteer.  Those healthcare professionals who are not currently working in a healthcare facility and who may be furloughed, retired or otherwise interested in helping with the COVID-19 response are needed by the community.   

Our community is prepared to facilitate a response to the surge, we are asking for all available healthcare professionals to assist.  Responsibilities may include direct or indirect care of existing or new patients in a variety of settings. If you are able to respond, please go to nhresponds.org and complete the brief registration process. In this unprecedented, rapidly evolving situation, we thank you for your consideration to aid the State’s effort to continue to protect and serve NH residents. 

New Hampshire Pharmacists Association 

373 South Willow Street  D1-1, Suite 165

Manchester, NH 03103

NHPA Mission Statement

The mission of the New Hampshire Pharmacists Association is to promote, enhance, and advance pharmacy practice, in the State of New Hampshire by advocating for the professional interests of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, student pharmacists, and ancillary pharmacy personnel as well as to advocate for the health and welfare of the general public.

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