Pursuant to Section Eighty-Four of Governor Kim Reynolds’ April 27, 2020 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, the Board is authorized to issue emergency pharmacist licenses pursuant to this guidance. A pharmacist who has been issued an emergency pharmacist license is authorized to practice pharmacy to the full extent that any other licensed pharmacist is authorized.

Emergency license eligibility

In order for a recently graduated pharmacist-intern to be eligible for emergency pharmacist licensure in Iowa, the following conditions must be met:

  • The graduate pharmacist-intern meets one of the following criteria:

    • The graduate pharmacist-intern currently holds an active Iowa pharmacist-intern registration, or

    • The graduate pharmacist-intern will be participating in an ACPE-accredited residency program in Iowa in 2020 (proof of participation must be provided directly to the Board by the ACPE-accredited residency program);

  • Proof of graduation within the prior six months from an ACPE-accredited College of Pharmacy (COP) has been submitted to the Board on behalf of the graduate pharmacist-intern directly from the COP;

  • Submission of the Iowa Pharmacist Licensure by Examination Application including all non-refundable fees associated with the application;

    • Upon receipt of the completed application, Board staff will send the applicant a fingerprint packet for the criminal history background check.

    • The applicant is asked to return the completed fingerprint packet to the Board within 30 days of the expiration of the Proclamation.

    • Failure to timely return the completed fingerprint packet may result in license rescission.

  • Proof of registration with National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) for authorization to test for both required exams (NAPLEX and MPJE, Iowa Edition);

  • Demonstration that the required exams cannot be scheduled, either at a testing center within 100 miles of the graduate pharmacist-intern’s residence or remotely, within the next 30 days; and

  • The graduate pharmacist-intern cannot have previously failed either of the two required exams (NAPLEX or MPJE, Iowa Edition).

Limitations of emergency license

While practicing under an emergency license:

  • A pharmacist is not eligible for license transfer to another state.

  • A pharmacist is not eligible for participation in the NABP Passport Program for pharmacists to practice in any other state as a pharmacist.

  • A pharmacist shall continue to actively pursue scheduling of the required exams. The Board will receive updates from NABP regarding testing availability and will contact any pharmacists who do not appear to be scheduling the required exams when there is availability.

  • A pharmacist shall display the Board-issued pharmacist license card which indicates the license is an emergency license, which will satisfy the requirement in 657 IAC 8.4(1).

Duration of emergency license

  • An emergency license shall automatically terminate upon the earliest of any of the following, regardless of the expiration date listed on the emergency license card:

    • Receiving a failing score on either of the required exams (NAPLEX or MPJE, Iowa Edition); 

    • 30 days after receiving notification from the Board that testing options are available but have not been timely scheduled; or

    • 120 days after the termination or expiration of the Governor’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency that authorizes emergency licenses if the licensee has not successfully completed the required exams.

  • When an emergency license terminates:

    • If the licensee previously held an Iowa pharmacist-intern registration, the pharmacist-intern registration will be reactivated and the graduate pharmacist-intern may continue to practice as a pharmacist-intern.

    • If the licensee did not previously hold an Iowa pharmacist-intern registration,  the graduate pharmacist-intern must immediately apply for an Iowa pharmacist-intern registration with the Board prior to continuing in the individual's residency program. 

    • The term of the pharmacist-intern registration shall be as set forth in 657 IAC 4.6(3).

  • Immediately upon successful completion of the required exams, the license will no longer be considered an “emergency” license.

    • The Board will issue an original pharmacist license (wall license) along with a new license card without the “emergency license” designation.

    • The Board will remove the pharmacist’s name from its published list of pharmacists practicing under an emergency license.

    • The pharmacist will be eligible to participate in the NABP license transfer program.

    • The pharmacist will be eligible to participate in the NABP Passport program, if the program is still active.

Expiration of Proclamation of Disaster Emergency 

Upon the expiration or termination of the Governor’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, the Board will provide notice to all pharmacists with emergency licenses regarding the date by which the required exams must be completed to retain active Iowa pharmacist licensure. The Board will continue to monitor the testing site capability and may adjust this guidance as needed.