Telepharmacy plan approved in South Dakota

February 1, 2009

South Dakota pharmacists can now authorize, supervise, and verify prescriptions filled by pharmacy technicians in remote locations.

Key Points

The South Dakota legislature has cleared the way for pharmacists to use technicians to fill prescriptions at remote locations where there are no pharmacists. Still, several lawmakers warned that lawsuits might result if standards on what constitutes "limited access" are not established.

Under the telepharmacy law, pharmacists will communicate with patients and supervise pharmacy technicians at remote sites through audio-visual networks. The technicians will fill the prescriptions. Some legislators have urged the state Board of Pharmacy to establish definite standards determining which communities have limited access to pharmacists, stipulating the types of drugs that can be dispensed remotely, and determining whether multiple providers would be allowed to provide telepharmacy services in the same community.