Kentucky Governor Expands Pharmacist Prescribing Rights to Combat Coronavirus


A new executive order from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has expanded prescribing rights to pharmacists in light of the novel coronavirus.

A new executive order from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) has expanded prescribing rights to pharmacists in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).1-2

The law allows for Kentucky pharmacists to fill prescriptions for 30 days, including an emergency refill if they are not able to make contact with a patient’s physician. 1-3

Should there be a need, pharmacists can operate temporarily in an area that is not designated by their pharmacy’s permit, meaning that they can assist with and set up mobile stations for COVID-19 efforts. 1-3

Additionally, pharmacists can dispense as needed medications to treat COVID-19 as long as they follow the protocols by the CDC or National Institutes of Health or other public health officials.1

Clarence Sullivan, the owner of the Pharmacy Shop in Lexington, KY, told local news station WKYT that the executive order is a good move because it will allow individuals who may have underlying health conditions to stock up on medications and alleviate concerns about leaving their home to do so.2

“No reason for them to get out and come back-and-forth to the pharmacy and be logical for them to stay home in some cases particularly if they are elderly and not get out in the public. Stay home and get that 30-day supply, so they don't have to come back-and-forth to the pharmacy,” Sullivan told WKYT.2

Sullivan also explained that there are restrictions for what medications can be filled for 30-day orders. For example, blood pressure pills fall into this executive order, however, medications like narcotics cannot be stocked for fear that they may be abused.2

As of March 16, there were 4 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kentucky, bringing the statewide total to 25. The new cases include a 34-year-old woman in Jefferson County, a 74-year-old man and 33-year-old woman in Fayette County, and a 51-year old man in Montgomery County. There are now 7 confirmed cases in Lexington and 7 in Louisville.4

Although the executive order is set to expire on April 8, 2020, it is possible for Beshear to renew it depending on the needs for pharmacist prescribing and the status of the COVID-19 outbreak.1


  • Beshear, Andy. Executive Order 2020-224 State of Emergency Relating to the Dispensing of Pharmaceuticals. Published March 10, 2020. Accessed March 17, 2020.
  • Beshear executive order helps pharmacists treat at-risk patients. Lexington, KY. WKYT website. Published March 10, 2020. Accessed March 17, 2020.
  • Hancock, Tammy. Beshear Details Guidance For Coronavirus Response. WKDZ Radio website. Published March 11, 2020. Accessed March 17, 2020.
  • Acquisito, Alex. Four new Kentucky coronavirus cases confirmed Monday. Child care centers must close. Hearld Leader website. Published March 16, 2020. Accessed March 17, 2020.

Related Videos
Medicine tablets on counting tray with counting spatula at pharmacy | Image Credit: sutlafk -
Concept of health care, pharmaceutical business, drug prices, pharmacy, medicine and economics | Image Credit: Oleg -
Image credit: |
Medical team -- Image credit: Flamingo Images |
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.