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Calif. Pharmacy Law Under Emergency Conditions

During this time of emergency, citizens in Lake County may find themselves in need of getting prescriptions refilled even though they do not have access to the pharmacy they use routinely.  In some cases, citizens may not have access to their original written prescriptions for a number of reasons, including rapid evacuation from the fire area.

California Pharmacy Law (Section 4054) provides that pharmacists may in good faith furnish a “reasonable” supply of medications or devices to patients in emergency conditions without a prescription.

Patients who need to obtain prescription medications or devices on an emergency basis should go to an open pharmacy and bring their original prescription containers or be able to provide their physician’s name.  Before filling the prescription, the pharmacist should make every reasonable effort to contact the original prescriber, and should make an appropriate record. That record must include the basis for proceeding under this section.

It is important to remember that the prescriber will not have any liability as a result of refilling a prescription under this section of law. The law was designed to offer this protection during states of emergency.

Any questions or concerns about this section of California Pharmacy Law that may arise should be referred to the Lake County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  Those questions will be referred to the emergency physician available at the EOC. The number to call is: 707-263-3450.

Citizens should be able to receive needed medications and devices despite this state of emergency.  This section of California Pharmacy Law provides for that process.


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