(1) In any pharmacy staffed by a single pharmacist, the pharmacist shall take a meal/rest break for a period of up to 30 minutes per shift without closing the pharmacy and removing support personnel, provided the pharmacist reasonably believes that the security of prescription drugs will be maintained in the pharmacist's absence.
(2) The time of the meal/rest break will be conspicuously posted in clear view of patients approaching the prescription area.
(3) In the pharmacist's absence a sign indicating that no pharmacist is on duty will be conspicuously displayed in clear view of patients approaching the prescription area.
(4) The pharmacist will remain on the premises if the prescription area is to remain open, and be available for emergencies.
(5) When authorized by the pharmacist, only registered technicians directly involved in the process of filling prescriptions may remain in the prescription department to perform nondiscretionary duties as delineated by the pharmacist.
(6) Upon returning, the pharmacist shall review any work performed in the pharmacist's absence.
(7) In the pharmacist's absence there may be no dispensing of new prescriptions that the pharmacist has checked and that are waiting to be picked up, nor may counseling be provided.
(8) At the discretion of the pharmacist, previously checked medication refills may be handed to patients or their agents by registered technicians in the pharmacist's absence, and the technicians must offer the patient counseling by the pharmacist. If the patient desires counseling, the patient may wait for the pharmacist to return or may leave a telephone number for the pharmacist to call upon return.
(9) Telephoned new prescriptions must not be accepted by support personnel in the pharmacist's absence.
(10) New hardcopy prescriptions may be accepted and processed by registered technicians in the pharmacist's absence. These prescriptions may not be dispensed until the pharmacist has performed prospective drug review and completed the final check.
(11) If two or more pharmacists are on duty, the pharmacists shall stagger their breaks so that the prescription department is not left without a pharmacist on duty.
(12) The pharmacist-in-charge shall develop written policies and procedures for operation of the prescription department in the temporary absence of the pharmacist.