News

Holiday office closure
December 23, 2014

Our office will be closed December 24, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. on January 2, 2015. Happy Holidays!

Regional meeting - Vermilion
December 17, 2014

Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Location: Vermilion, AB - venue TBA (please check back)
Time: 7:00-9:30 p.m.

The meeting is open to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. 

There is no fee to attend the meeting. Light refreshments will be provided.

Pharmacists can record their attendance as non-accredited learning.

Pre-registration is appreciated. If you plan to attend, please email sheena.mcnally@pharmacists.ab.ca.

Meeting topics

College president Brad Willsey and ACP staff will be travelling the province to:

  • Hear your thoughts about how pharmacy practice should evolve, and
  • Answer your questions and provide tips about the new Continuing Competence Program.

To prepare

We strongly recommend that you complete the Continuing Competence Program tutorial before attending. Doing so will help you put the presentation information in context and help ensure you get any clarification you need at the meeting.

To prepare for the future of pharmacy conversation, ponder the following questions:

  • Are there new models of care or new ways of delivering pharmacy services that existing regulations do not accommodate? What is your vision for the future? What alternatives should ACP consider?
  • What training will you need to meet the changing needs of your patients, your community, and the health system (e.g., genomics, proteomics, assessment and diagnostic skills, mental health and addictions training)?
  • Is it necessary for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to be collocated to fulfil their respective professional responsibilities? Is it necessary for pharmacists to actually see the patient? If not, what key requirements and indicators should be used to measure compliance, patient safety, and the quality of care?
  • Is there an appropriate balance of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the workforce? What policies and strategies should ACP consider to accommodate pharmacy workforce needs in the future?

Please also come prepared to discuss the current challenges and barriers you face in practice and the solutions you propose to help the professions overcome them.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Regional meeting feedback
December 11, 2014

ACP recently hosted meetings to discuss the new Competence Program and hear your ideas about future pharmacy practice. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians engaged in discussions about the future of pharmacy and provided us with valuable feedback:

Thank you to all who attended. We look forward to continuing the conversation in 2015.
Hearing notice (continuance): Colin Porozni
November 18, 2014
Hearing status Scheduled
Registrant Colin Porozni
Charge Unprofessional Conduct - continuance
Date December 2, 2014
Time 9:30 a.m.
Location

Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

In accordance with Section 78 of the Health Professions Act, this conduct hearing will be open to the public unless the hearing tribunal accepts a motion or application to close the hearing.
 
To inquire about available seating to observe this hearing, contact Margaret Morley at 780-990-0321 or hearings@pharmacists.ab.ca. Pre-registration is required and will only be accepted until November 27, 2014.
 
Please note that the hearing schedule is subject to change. Members of the public should check the ACP website for current hearing information.
 
Please direct media inquiries to Karen Mills, Communications Director, at 780-990-0321 or karen.mills@pharmacists.ab.ca
Mandatory flu immunization for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians?
November 14, 2014

Alberta Health is currently deliberating a provincial policy, and CARNA recently announced their support for "employer policies of mandatory choice of influenza vaccination or wearing protective clothing for anyone working in health care." 

What do you think - should pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who are providing direct patient care be required to be immunized or wear protective clothing?

Please send your comments to executiveassistant@pharmacists.ab.ca by January 30, 2015.

Notice of veterinarian suspension
November 14, 2014

The Practice Review Board of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) has suspended Dr. James Irwin, licence #1835, from veterinary practice effective November 12, 2014 until further notice.

If an animal received a prescription written by Dr. Irwin before the suspension, or if there are refill orders on file, you must use your professional judgment as to the appropriateness of filling these prescriptions so as to not disrupt care that may be necessary, but keeping in mind that Dr. Irwin is no longer monitoring the animal.

Hearing notice: Momtaz Ebied
November 3, 2014
Hearing status Scheduled
Registrant Momtaz Ebied
Charge Unprofessional Conduct
Date December 11, 2014
Time 9:30 a.m.
Location

Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

In accordance with Section 78 of the Health Professions Act, this conduct hearing will be open to the public unless the hearing tribunal accepts a motion or application to close the hearing.
 
To inquire about available seating to observe this hearing, contact Margaret Morley at 780-990-0321 or hearings@pharmacists.ab.ca. Pre-registration is required and will only be accepted until November 27, 2014.
 
Please note that the hearing schedule is subject to change. Members of the public should check the ACP website for current hearing information.
 
Please direct media inquiries to Karen Mills, Communications Director, at 780-990-0321 or karen.mills@pharmacists.ab.ca
October 2014 Adverse Reaction newsletter now available
October 30, 2014

The October 2014 issue of the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter, published by the Marketed Health Products Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, is now available. This newsletter is a quarterly publication of adverse reaction information and provides regular feedback to health professionals on adverse reactions reported in Canada.

In this issue:

For a complete listing of previous issues, go to http://www.health.gc.ca/carn

Online permit renewal now open for pharmacy technicians
October 29, 2014

How to renew

  1. Go to the ACP website (pharmacists.ab.ca). Select login (located at the top of the screen).
  2. Login using your username and password. Your username is your registration number. Your password is case sensitive.
  3. Once you have logged in, look to the top of the screen. You should see your name following the word “Welcome” and the text My Profile.
  4. Click on My Profile. You will need to login again, using the same username and password.
  5. Select the Renewal tab. Follow the tabs under Renewal for each step of the renewal process.

Thinking of changing your status? Our online renewal includes a feature that allows pharmacy technicians to change their status to associate, retired, or cancelled technician.


Application checklist

Your application for status as Pharmacy Technician 2015 must include:

  • A valid email address
  • Declaration of compliance with professional liability insurance coverage
    • Minimum one million dollar claims-made or occurrence-based professional liability insurance policy that is personal and transportable to any place of practice in Alberta, and provides coverage from January 1 to December 31, 2015
  • The required fee payment

CEUs are NOT required for renewal this year. Online logging of CEUs for technicians is not currently available.


Fees

Pharmacy technician: $491.40 ($468.00 plus $23.40 GST)

Associate technician: $236.25 ($225.00 plus $11.25 GST)

Associate, Cancelled, and Retired Technician statuses are inactive statuses. If you choose any one of these, you cannot practice as a pharmacy technician.

Non-compliance fee: $82.95 ($79.00 plus $3.95 GST)

  • The non-compliance fee will be assessed to any pharmacy technician whose practice permit renewal remains outstanding after November 30 and up to December 31, 2014. This fee is in addition to the practice permit fee for pharmacy technicians. 
  • Pharmacy technicians whose renewals are outstanding as of December 31, 2014 will be cancelled effective January 1, 2015 and will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $270.90 ($258.00 plus $12.90 GST) in addition to the annual practice permit fee before regaining their statuses as pharmacy technicians.

Questions? Contact us

ACP registration department, registrationinfo@pharmacists.ab.ca
Tel: 780-990-0321 TF: 1-877-227-3838 Fax: 780-990-0328
ACP employment opportunities: professional practice administrator, registration administrator
October 29, 2014

Professional practice administrator

Under the leadership of the professional practice director, the professional practice administrator supports and assists the director and the professional practice team. The administrator coordinates pharmacy assessments and assists the team to develop quality assurance and quality improvement initiatives.

The administrator also supports and provides back up to the complaints resolution program.  In this role, the administrator is the first person of contact for incoming complaints or concerns. 

For more information and application details, please see the career posting.


Registration administrator (part-time)

Under the leadership of the deputy registrar and the supervision of the registration manager, the registration administrator is responsible for supporting and assisting the college's registration and licensure program as well as the overall team. The registration administrator is the first person of contact for incoming questions/concerns from potential and existing registrants about the registration program, and from potential and existing proprietors and licensees about licensing pharmacies. The administrator communicates the college’s various registration and licensing policies and procedures and is responsible for resolving inquiries at first contact whenever possible.  

For more information and application details, please see the career posting:

Registration administrator (part-time)

Invitation to comment on proposed bylaw amendment
October 21, 2014

ACP council is proposing amendments to its bylaws that:

  • Remove the requirement for an Annual General Meeting; and, instead
  • Invite alternate forms of engagement and more frequent opportunities to consider resolutions introduced by voting members.

We are now seeking your review and comment on these changes. View the consultation document to review the proposed wording and to learn more about the rationale for these changes.

All feedback is due at the ACP office by noon on Friday, January 30, 2015.

 

To comment on the proposed amendments, please email, mail, or fax your comments to:

Leslie Ainslie
Executive Assistant to the Registrar
Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 Street NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8
leslie.ainslie@pharmacists.ab.ca (please use the subject “Bylaw amendments”)
Fax: 780-990-0328

ACP regional meeting information
October 21, 2014

We will be holding meetings in the following cities:

Nov. 5 – Red Deer, Black Knight Inn (2929 50 Ave)
Nov. 13 – Calgary, Hotel Blackfoot (5940 Blackfoot Trail SE)
Nov. 27 – Lethbridge, Coast Lethbridge Hotel (526 Mayor Magrath Drive South)
Dec. 2 –Edmonton, Chateau Nova Kingsway (159 Airport Rd NW)

Meetings are open to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. 

All meetings will be held from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.

There is no fee to attend the meeting. Light refreshments will be provided.

Pharmacists can record their attendance as non-accredited learning.

Pre-registration is appreciated. If you plan to attend, please email sheena.mcnally@pharmacists.ab.ca.

Meeting topics

College president Brad Willsey and ACP staff will be travelling the province to:

  • Hear your thoughts about how pharmacy practice should evolve, and
  • Answer your questions and provide tips about the new Continuing Competence Program.

To prepare

We strongly recommend that you complete the Continuing Competence Program tutorial before attending. Doing so will help you put the presentation information in context and help ensure you get any clarification you need at the meeting.

To prepare for the future of pharmacy conversation, ponder the following questions:

  • Are there new models of care or new ways of delivering pharmacy services that existing regulations do not accommodate? What is your vision for the future? What alternatives should ACP consider?
  • What training will you need to meet the changing needs of your patients, your community, and the health system (e.g., genomics, proteomics, assessment and diagnostic skills, mental health and addictions training)?
  • Is it necessary for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to be collocated to fulfil their respective professional responsibilities? Is it necessary for pharmacists to actually see the patient? If not, what key requirements and indicators should be used to measure compliance, patient safety, and the quality of care?
  • Is there an appropriate balance of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the workforce? What policies and strategies should ACP consider to accommodate pharmacy workforce needs in the future?

Please also come prepared to discuss the current challenges and barriers you face in practice due to legislation or standards and the solutions you propose to help the professions overcome them.

We look forward to seeing you there!

FluMist® is now available to order
October 20, 2014

To ensure that FluMist® was delivered in a timely fashion, Alberta Health accepted the FluMist® Quadrivalent product. The Quadrivalent product has been brought in from the United States and will not include the Canadian product monograph or the DIN with the packaging (the DIN is 02426544).

Product notes

  • The Quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (QLAIV) intranasal spray vaccine Flumist® (distributed in Canada by AstraZeneca) is a thimerosal-free product.
  • QLAIV is recommended for healthy children 9 – 17 years of age without any contraindication to live vaccines or to QLAIV.
  • When QLAIV is contraindicated, inactivated trivalent influenza vaccines should be considered.
  • Ideally, FluMist® should only be administered to adults (18 – 59 years of age) who refuse injectable influenza vaccine (i.e., are needle-phobic). 

 

Hearing notice: Karen Nevett
September 26, 2014
Hearing status Postponed
Registrant Karen Nevett
Charge Unprofessional Conduct
Date TBD
Time TBD
Location

Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

In accordance with Section 78 of the Health Professions Act, this conduct hearing will be open to the public unless the hearing tribunal accepts a motion or application to close the hearing.
 
To inquire about available seating to observe this hearing, contact Margaret Morley at 780-990-0321 or hearings@pharmacists.ab.ca. Pre-registration is required.
 
Please note that the hearing schedule is subject to change. Members of the public should check the ACP website for current hearing information.
 
Please direct media inquiries to Karen Mills, Communications Director, at 780-990-0321 or karen.mills@pharmacists.ab.ca
Accessing the self-assessment and action report to complete your pharmacy assessment
September 9, 2014

Because of the enhancements to our website, there is a new process for logging in to complete your pharmacy assessment, including your self-assessment and action report.

To access your pharmacy assessment, go to our website pharmacists.ab.ca and click on the login button at the top of the page. Use the same username and password as your Registrant Profile to log into the website.

Once you are logged into the website, log into your Registrant Profile by clicking on the My Profile login button at the top of the page and enter the same username and password.

Please click on the Pharmacy Assessment tab in the top right hand corner of the site and follow the instructions provided to access your self-assessment, acknowledge your action report or submit your action report.

For your convenience our pharmacy assessment handbook is available on our website at http://pharmacists.ab.ca/sites/default/files/OnlineAssessmentHandbook.pdf.

PharmD application deadline extended to Oct. 1
September 9, 2014

The U of A’s 2015 Post-Professional Doctor of Pharmacy full-time program is a one-year clinical undergraduate program. It includes classroom courses and experiential learning. The program’s goal is to further develop clinical skills required for the provision of optimal patient-centred care. The current admissions cycle is for the program starting in September of 2015.

Application deadline extended to October 1, 2014 (one year in advance).

Who is eligible?

  • Practising pharmacists: You will need proof of registration on ACP's clinical register or be eligible for registration in Alberta.
  • Fourth-year BSc (Pharmacy) students: U of A student pharmacists graduating in June of 2015 (Class of 2015).

For more information and to apply to the program please visit http://pharm.ualberta.ca/programs/undergraduate-doctor-of-pharmacy.

Consultation on hazardous product compounding now open
September 3, 2014

ACP is circulating national draft Model Standards for Pharmacy Compounding of Hazardous Sterile Products for review and comment, in conjunction with NAPRA's national consultation. Comments are due to ACP by November 5.

Note that these standards are quite similar in many areas to the draft Model Standards for Pharmacy Compounding of Non-hazardous Sterile Products which are also being circulated for review and comment. To facilitate easier review, standards specifically dealing with hazardous product compounding have been highlighted in yellow.

Please see the consultation invitation letter for details on how to participate. Submit all comments using the comment template

TYPE II DRUG RECALL: Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution BP (20%), Lots: 56407/A, 56407/B and 56407/C
August 27, 2014

The supplier of Medisca’s Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution BP (20%), Lots: 56407/A, 56407/B and 56407/C has issued a recall due to the product being contaminated with the bacteria Serratia Marcescens.

To date, Medisca has not received any adverse event reaction notifications from customers; however, as a precaution Medisca has determined that the situation warrants a recall. Medisca has classified this recall as a Type II, defined in Health Canada policy POL-0160 as “a situation in which the use of, or exposure to, a product may cause temporary adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.”

See the recall notice for details and product return procedures. 

New registration procedure for international pharmacy graduates
August 22, 2014

As of August 20, 2014, all international pharmacy graduates (IPGs) who wish to obtain a licence to practice pharmacy in Alberta will follow a new procedure.* The term IPGs refers to pharmacists who have obtained their pharmacy education outside of Canada.

As one of Canada’s pharmacy regulatory authorities (PRAs), we have entrusted our national association, the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA), to develop a new, national approach to facilitate the licensure process for IPGs and to eliminate duplication.

This new program – the Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada – will now be the first point of access rather than the PRA.  To help IPGs navigate the licensure process and facilitate their preparation for licensure in Canada, the Gateway provides a website with key information online and through telephone support and features two self-assessment tools which assist IPGs to make an informed decision before starting the process to become licensed as a pharmacist in Canada.  For IPGs wishing to practise in Canada, the process of obtaining a licence begins with enrolment in the Gateway.

*This does not apply to IPGs who initiated the licensure process with the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada or a pharmacy regulatory authority before August 20, 2014.  See our Registration & Licensure section for more registration information. 

 

Use restricted pharmacy titles with care
August 19, 2014

Restricted titles, set out in Section 15 of the Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians Profession Regulation, indicate that individuals have specific levels of education, skill, and role definitions. Use of the titles by unqualified individuals misleads colleagues and the public, and diminishes the work done by those legitimately qualified to use the titles.

Pharmacy technician is a restricted title that can only be used by individuals registered on ACP’s pharmacy technician register. An individual registered on ACP’s provisional pharmacy technician register may be identified as a provisional pharmacy technician.

Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, licensees, and pharmacy owners - please review the designations used to identify individuals working in pharmacies, and ensure that restricted titles are respected and complied with.

Owners and licensees - please refrain from using restricted titles during hiring processes, unless it is a requirement for the successful candidate to be registered on one of these registers.

Section 15 of the Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians Profession Regulation sets the title restrictions.

Authorization to use titles, etc.
15(1)  A clinical pharmacist may use the following titles, abbreviations and initials:

                                 (a)    pharmacist;
                                 (b)    clinical pharmacist;
                                 (c)    pharmaceutical chemist;
                                 (d)    druggist;
                                 (e)    apothecary;
                                 (f)    registered pharmacist;
                                 (g)    Ph.C.;
                                 (h)    R.Ph.

(2)  A provisional pharmacist may use the titles pharmacy intern and pharmacist intern.

(3)  A courtesy pharmacist may use the following titles, abbreviations and initials:

                                 (a)    pharmacist;
                                 (b)    pharmaceutical chemist;
                                 (c)    druggist;
                                 (d)    apothecary;
                                 (e)    registered pharmacist;
                                 (f)    Ph.C.;
                                 (g)    R.Ph.

(4)  A student pharmacist may use the titles pharmacy student and pharmacist student.

(5)  A clinical pharmacist and a courtesy pharmacist with an earned doctoral degree in pharmacy or a related area recognized by the Council may use the title doctor or the abbreviations Pharm.D. and Dr. in conjunction with the practice of pharmacists.

15.1(1)  A pharmacy technician and a courtesy pharmacy technician may use the words “registered” and “regulated” and may use the following titles, abbreviations and initials:

                                 (a)    pharmacy technician;
                                 (b)    pharmacy technologist;
                                 (c)    dispensary technician;
                                 (d)    dispensary technologist;
                                 (e)    Pharm.Tech.;
                                 (f)    Ph.T.;
                                 (g)    R.Ph.T.

(2)  A provisional pharmacy technician may use the title provisional pharmacy technician.

For more on role definitions, you can refer to the Transition Times issue on technicians.

Vitamin B12: injectable or oral administration?
August 19, 2014
For many people with Vitamin B12 deficiency, treatment with high-dose oral administration of Vitamin B12 (1000 – 2000 mcg per day) is as effective as injectable administration. Learn what you should consider before dispensing Vitamin B12 in this AHS Drugs & Therapeutics Backgrounder.
Influenza Immunization Policy 2014-2015 online
August 19, 2014

Alberta Health’s Influenza Immunization Policy 2014-2015 is now available. 

Participants must:

before taking part in the program.

The following are pharmacy-related highlights from the provincial Influenza Immunization Policy.

Client eligibility
Non-residents are not eligible to receive Alberta’s influenza vaccine. Individuals claiming to be Alberta residents but who do not have a PHN or whose PHN is inactive must be directed to their local Alberta Health Services Public Health Office.

Reminder: Pharmacists may not immunize individuals younger than nine years of age against seasonal influenza with provincially funded influenza vaccine.

Cold chain requirements
Detailed cold chain requirements are outlined in Appendix B1 of the policy. Of note:

  • Each site storing vaccine must have detailed vaccine cold chain protocols for routine operations and urgent situations.
    • All staff who administer or handle vaccines in any way must be familiar with these protocols.
  • All sites offering injections must have vaccine handling and storage policiesand protocols in place. The policies and protocols must comply with the national recommendations for storage and handling of biological products.
  • Each site where vaccine is stored must have a designated vaccine coordinator and another staff member as a backup. The designated person is responsible for ensuring vaccines are handled correctly, that procedures are documented, and that personnel receive appropriate training.
  • At minimum, the temperature must be recorded, at the beginning and end of each business day for each refrigerator storing vaccine even if chart recorders, data loggers or alarm systems are used.

Immunizers should also be aware:

Reporting requirements
Reporting is required on:

a. The identity of the individual vaccinated,

b. The vaccines administered to a particular individual,

c. Any adverse events experienced by those vaccinated, and

d. Cold chain breaks.

  • Adverse events Immunizers must have protocols for management of anaphylaxis (note that the Canadian Immunization Guide section on anaphylaxis has been updated). Severe adverse events must be reported within 24 hours to the local AHS Public Health office. In any case where an immunizer is unsure whether a symptom following immunization is related to the immunization, the immunizer must consult with the local AHS public office as soon as possible. 
     
  • Cold chain breaks - All known exposures of vaccine to temperatures outside +2.0ºC to +8.0ºC or inappropriately exposed to light must be reported. Alberta Health will provide direction on the use of exposed vaccine.

In addition to the above, specific reporting requirements for pharmacies and pharmacists are detailed in the policy’s appendices.

Vaccine supply and distribution
This year, pharmacy wholesale distributors will be distributing vaccine to pharmacies. Pharmacy wholesale distributors have experience in distributing prescription drugs to pharmacies in Alberta; have a warehouse in Alberta; and meet the requirements for providing cold chain management for influenza vaccines.

Prescription required for mupirocin (Bactroban)
August 19, 2014

Mupirocin ointment and cream are Schedule 1 in Alberta and require a prescription.

Mupirocin ointment and cream were placed in Schedule 1 by NAPRA, based on a September 1999 recommendation of the National Drug Scheduling Advisory Committee.

In Alberta, NAPRA drug schedules are in effect unless a drug is listed on the Alberta Exceptions List. Mupirocin is not on this list. Therefore, a prescription is required in Alberta even though Health Canada’s Drug Product Database lists mupirocin-containing products as OTC.

See the national drug schedules document on the NAPRA website for rationale on why the drug was placed on Schedule 1.

Consultation on non-hazardous compounding standards now open
August 5, 2014

ACP is circulating national draft Model Standards for Pharmacy Compounding of Non-hazardous Sterile Products for review and comment. Concurrent with ACP’s consultation, NAPRA is consulting nationally. ACP’s consultation period extends until October 5, 2014; comments received before September 5 will inform ACP’s submission to NAPRA’s national consultation.

Please see the consultation invitation letter for details on how to participate. Submit all comments using the comment template

Inducements decision in BC
August 5, 2014

On July 25, the BC Supreme Court ruled that the bylaws passed by the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia prohibiting incentives provided for prescriptions and pharmacy services be struck down. 

The hearing at which will ACP will defend its changes to our Standards and Code of Ethics which prohibit inducements is set for Jan. 15, 2015.

Originally published in the August 5, 2015 issue of The Link 

Electronic storage for transaction, compounding, or repackaging records? Yes, if you meet these requirements.
August 5, 2014

In the July 22 edition of The Link, we informed you that Health Canada approved electronic storage of written prescriptions. We have had several questions about whether this change can apply to other records.

ACP recognizes the new interpretation from Health Canada for written prescriptions. Electronically scanned prescriptions that are filed systematically and retained for up to 42 months will meet the requirements outlined in Standard 8.3 of the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies.

ACP also recognizes electronic storage as a method of meeting the retention requirements for the other records described in Standard 8.3: transaction, compounding, and repackaging records.

You must still print these records, as you have in the past, but now when you are finished with them you may scan the final documents and retain them electronically to meet the requirements of the standard. This will ensure that any notes, labels, or other information affixed to the records are also captured.  

Why do these records need to be created and then scanned for storage?

Although the Health Canada interpretation changes record retention methods, all other ACP standards in the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians must be met:

  • Standard 7.16 requires that an audit trail be created that identifies all individuals involved in the processing of a prescription and the dispensing of the drug.

  • Standard 10.11 requires documentation regarding compounded drugs.

  • Standard 18.1 requires that a written transaction record is created each time a Schedule 1 drug is dispensed.

  • Standard 21.1 requires an audit trail of drugs repackaged.

Of course, if you prefer, you may choose to retain the physical copy rather than a scanned version.

Before disposing of any written prescriptions, remember:

  • It is your responsibility to confirm that others, such as third party payers, recognize Health Canada’s interpretation.

  • Disposal must be done in a way that ensures privacy is maintained, as required by the Health Information Act.

Resources

Records retention chart

Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

Definition: Transaction record

Each time a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician dispenses a Schedule 1 drug or blood product, the pharmacist or the pharmacy technician must ensure that a written transaction record is created that includes:

a) the name of the patient for whom the drug was dispensed;

b) the name of the prescriber of the drug;

c) the date the drug was dispensed;

d) the name, strength, and dosage form of the drug dispensed;

e) the DIN of the drug dispensed;

f) the quantity of drug dispensed;

g) route of administration and directions for use; and

h) a unique prescription and transaction number.

(Standard 18.1, Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians)

Additional documentation requirements for compounded drugs

In addition to the documentation requirements for dispensing a drug or blood product in Standards 18.1 and 18.2, a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician who compounds a drug or blood product must ensure that a record is created that includes the:

a) name, lot number, expiry date and quantity of each ingredient used to prepare the compounded drug or blood product;

b) formula used to prepare the compounded drug or blood product;

c) beyond-use date assigned to the compounded drug or blood product; and

d) a clear audit trail that identifies all individuals who were involved in the preparation and verification of the compounded drug or blood product, and the role of each individual.

(Standard 10.11, Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians)

Duty regarding audit trail when repackaging

A pharmacist or a pharmacy technician who repackages a drug or blood product must ensure that in respect of that drug or blood product there is sufficient documentation to provide a clear audit trail of the repackaging process.

The documentation required under Standard 21.1 must identify:

a) drug information from the original container including:

i. DIN, NPN or HN;

ii. lot number;

iii. expiry date; and

b) all individuals involved in the repackaging and verification process and the role of each individual.

(Standards 21.1 and 21.2, Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians)

Register now for U of A Pharmacy centennial celebrations
August 5, 2014

U of A Pharmacy alumni are invited to celebrate the faculty’s centennial on Sept.20. You can:

  • Brunch with colleagues and classmates

  • Tour the newly renovated facilities

  • Marvel at the display and timeline

  • Be inspired at the dinner and awards evening

 Get all the details and register online today.

Audit trail a must when dispensing
August 5, 2014

A pharmacist or a pharmacy technician who engages in dispensing must ensure that their dispensing activities are recorded in a clear audit trail (Standard 7.16, Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians).

Creating an audit trail need not be an onerous process. Any method that allows identification of each step in the process and the person who completed that step is acceptable.

The following illustration shows a simple cross-hatch configuration that could be placed on a prescription or a transaction record. Each person simply enters their initials after they have completed their task. This is acceptable audit trail documentation for dispensing.

 

 

 

 

Standard reference

Requirement for an audit trail of the dispensing process

7.16 A pharmacist or a pharmacy technician who engages in dispensing must ensure that their dispensing activities are recorded in a clear audit trail that identifies:

a) all individuals who were involved in the processing of a prescription and dispensing of the drug, and

b) the role of each individual.

7.17 If more than one regulated member of the college is involved in dispensing a drug, they must work together to ensure that:

a) the role and responsibility of each regulated member is clear,

b) each step required to be performed is properly performed, and

c) the audit trail clearly identifies the regulated member that fulfilled each role and responsibility.

Podiatric physicians added to TPP program
August 1, 2014

Podiatric physicians (also referred to as podiatrists) were added to Alberta’s TPP program in January 2013. [ACP was just notified on July 29; we apologize for not notifying pharmacists sooner.] 

Podiatric physicians may prescribe:

  • Narcotic drugs within the practice of podiatry. However, according to the New Classes of Practitioners Regulations, podiatric physicians CANNOT prescribe methadone or buprenorphine.
  • Controlled substances within the practice of podiatry. However, according to the New Classes of Practitioners Regulations, podiatric physicians CANNOT prescribe anabolic steroids or “designated drugs” as defined in subsection G.04.001(1) of the Food and Drug Regulations (e.g., amphetamine, methamphetamine).
  • Benzodiazepines and targeted substances within the practice of podiatry.
  • Drugs on the Prescription Drug List within the practice of podiatry.

All authorized TPP medications prescribed by podiatrists must be written on TPP pads in accordance with the program.

 

Resources

New Classes of Practitioners Regulations

Podiatrists Profession Regulation

TPP medication list

Notice of veterinarian suspension
August 1, 2014
As a result of a order hearing tribunal order dated July 29, 2014, Dr. Iliya Belosevic, licence #1666, is suspended from the practice of veterinary medicine for six months, beginning August 1, 2014. As part of the suspension, Dr. Belosevic is no longer authorized to purchase, sell or dispense pharmaceuticals.
 
If an animal received a prescription written by Dr. Belosevic before the suspension, or if there are refill orders on file, you must use your professional judgment as to the appropriateness of filling these prescriptions so as to not disrupt care that may be necessary, but keeping in mind that Dr. Belosevic is no longer monitoring the animal.
July 2014 Adverse Reaction Newsletter now available
July 31, 2014

The July 2014 issue of the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter, published by the Marketed Health Products Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, is now available. This newsletter is a quarterly publication of adverse reaction information and provides regular feedback to health professionals on adverse reactions reported in Canada.

In this issue:

For a complete listing of previous issues, go to http://www.health.gc.ca/carn

Free resource for your patients
July 22, 2014

In response to continued requests, ACP has printed more patient Health Journals. The Health Journal is a 30-page booklet that helps patients track symptoms, moods, and health issues and note their questions and concerns.

Order yours now! ACP will cover the costs of the materials and shipping. First come, first served while quantities last.
Updated ACP website now live
July 22, 2014

To serve you better, we have updated the ACP website. With streamlined navigation, mobile-friendly design, and improved functionality, the site is designed to help you to find the information you need quickly and easily. Please view the introductory video to get acquainted with the new site.

  • To access the registrant profile, registrants must:
    • Click on the “Login” button, found at the top of every page,
    • Log in using the same ID and password you used before, and
    • Click “My Profile” (also at the top of every page, once logged in) to go to the registrant profile.
       
  • Some files on our website contain links to pages and documents on the old website. We have tried to fix as many of these links as possible, but if you find one that isn’t working, please let us know by sending a message to webmaster@pharmacists.ab.ca. 
     
  • If you bookmarked pages on the old site, you will need to update your bookmarks.
    • NOTE: If your pharmacy website links to the patient concerns poster, you will need to update the link. The new link is http://pharmacists.ab.ca/sites/default/files/PatientConcernPoster.pdf.

Start exploring

  • Learn answers to your practice questions in our FAQ section - conveniently organized by topic.
  • Discover tools to help you and your patients.
  • Find all the forms you need, all in one spot.
  • Connect with your council.
  • Share your ideas and stay up to date with our Facebook and Twitter feeds by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the homepage.
  • And finally, you can always find out about the college and contact us about various topics or questions.

We built the website based on what our registrants, stakeholders, and the public told us they need now, and have used technology capable of addressing future needs. We look forward to continuing to develop the site as a “go to” resource and community hub for years to come.

Let us know what you think
We would love to hear about your experiences with the new website. Please send us a note at communications@pharmacists.ab.ca and let us know how it is working for you and if there are any things we could do to improve your experience.

Faculty looking for lab facilitators
July 22, 2014

The Skills Lab at the U of A Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is in need of motivated, innovative pharmacists to be lab facilitators and help develop and inspire students to practice pharmacy with an advanced set of skills.

Facilitators must commit to at minimum one semester of facilitation (Tuesday or Thursday afternoon for 4-5 weeks over a semester), as well as an orientation session on feedback and grading.

If you are interested, please contact Gillian (lab administrator) at gillian2@ualberta.ca or Teri (Lead-Practice Skills) at tcharroi@ualberta.ca.

Health Canada approves electronic storage of prescriptions
July 22, 2014

Pharmacies must retain a copy of a prescription 2 years past the completion of therapy with regard to the prescription, or 42 months, whichever is greater. Health Canada has just confirmed that the federal government now interprets the retention provision in the Food and Drug Act as including electronically scanned copies.

This means that if original prescriptions are scanned into a secure electronic database, pharmacies are no longer required to retain paper prescriptions.

Resources
Record retention chart
Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies - Standard 8.3
Food and Drug Regulations – see Section C.01.041.1 (2) and (3)

PEBC assessors needed
July 22, 2014
 PEBC invites interested pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to apply as assessors. Exams are held in both Calgary and Edmonton on the following dates:
  • OSPE (pharmacy technician exam) – Sunday, September 7
  • OSCE (pharmacist exam) – Saturday, November 8

Please refer to the PEBC Assessor Application Form for further eligibility and application details.

Have you reviewed the CCP tutorial yet?
July 22, 2014

One of the first steps you should take in the new Continuing Competence Program is to review the mandatory CCP tutorial. This tutorial is available in the Self-Assessment/Prescribed Activities section of the CCP web portal. The web portal records that you have completed the tutorial. Once this prescribed activity has been completed, a green checkmark should appear beside Self-Assessment/Prescribed activity on the CCP portal homepage.

Reviewing the tutorial is one of the three requirements you must complete to be eligible to renew your practice permit for the upcoming registration year. You will not be able to complete online renewal until you see three green checkmarks in the progress indicator on the left hand side of the CPP web portal homepage. 

Am I required to complete a Learning Record for reviewing the tutorial?
The CCP web portal will keep track of whether you have completed the CCP tutorial, so you are not required to complete a Learning Record for this prescribed activity. However, you are welcome to complete one and claim non-accredited CEUs for completing this learning activity. View an example of a Learning Record for this activity.

What are the three requirements of the new Continuing Competence Program?
To complete the new Continuing Competence Program, all pharmacists on the clinical register must:

  1. Complete at least 15 CEUs during the CE cycle (June 1-May 31) and document each activity on a Learning Record.
  2. Implement at least one CEU worth of learning into your practice and document this on an Implementation Record.
  3. Complete any prescribed learning assigned by the Competence Committee. This year, the prescribed learning is reviewing the CCP tutorial.

Pharmacists can access all CCP materials through the CCP web portal on the ACP website.

Hearing rescheduled: Serena Westad
July 18, 2014
Hearing status Scheduled
Registrant Serena Westad
Charge Unprofessional Conduct
Date October 14, 2014
Time 9:30 a.m.
Location

Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

In accordance with Section 78 of the Health Professions Act, this conduct hearing will be open to the public unless the hearing tribunal accepts a motion or application to close the hearing.
 
To inquire about available seating to observe this hearing, contact Margaret Morley at 780-990-0321 or hearings@pharmacists.ab.ca. Pre-registration is required and will only be accepted until September 30, 2014.
 
Please note that the hearing schedule is subject to change. Members of the public should check the ACP website for current hearing information.
 
Please direct media inquiries to Karen Mills, Communications Director, at 780-990-0321 or karen.mills@pharmacists.ab.ca
ACP employment opportunity: accountant
July 8, 2014

Reporting to the Operation and Finance Director, the accountant is responsible for the college's accounting function and for assisting the records management area and the overall team.

The accountant will maintain up- to-date knowledge of accounting principles and requirements and will incorporate those into policy and procedures to ensure fiscal responsibility and achieve a successful annual external audit.

More information and application details

Meet your new ACP council
July 8, 2014

Brad Willsey began his term as 2014-2015 president with the start of the new council term on July 1, 2014. Read the latest issue of acpnews to find out the four things you can expect during Brad’s presidency.

ACP’s council governs and directs the business of the college. Council's success relies heavily on the support and volunteerism of registrants. We thank all of these individuals for committing their time and skills to serve their professions and Albertans. 

The 2014-2015 ACP council members are:

 
Brad Willsey
President
District 1

 
Rick Hackman
President Elect
District 3


Taciana Pereira
Executive Member at Large
District 3 
 
Kelly Olstad
Past President
District 4
 
Clayton Braun
Councillor
District 2
 
C.K. (Kamal) S. Dullat
Councillor
District 5
 
Brad Couldwell
Councillor
District 5
 
Kelly Boparai
Councillor
Pharmacy Technician - District A
 
Jennifer Teichroeb
Councillor
Pharmacy Technician - District B
 
Al Evans
Public Member
 
Robert Kruchten
Public Member
 
Mary O'Neill
Public Member
 
Jim Kehrer
Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy
ex officio
 
Bryan Hodgson
Student Representative
ex officio
 
Electronic signatures not acceptable
July 8, 2014

The standards of practice for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and physicians all state that electronic signatures on prescriptions are not allowed.

Acceptable

  • Prescriptions produced by computer and hand-signed by the prescriber or with an electronic signature that is then initialed by the prescriber and delivered by the patient are acceptable. However, it is your responsibility to ensure the prescription is authentic, just as you would for a prescription which is handwritten.
  • Prescriptions that are produced by computer and hand-signed by the prescriber, or with an electronic signature and initialed by the prescriber, that are then faxed to the pharmacy.

NOT acceptable

  • Prescriptions emailed to you.
  • Prescriptions produced by computer but not signed by the prescriber, or one that has an electronic signature and is not initialed by the prescriber. There are insufficient security measures in place to ensure the validity of prescriptions sent electronically.

The college supports the concept of e-prescribing. However, until requirements for securing patient confidentiality, verifying authenticity, and preventing diversion are defined, e-prescribing is not acceptable.

For best practices, refer to Ensuring Safe & Efficient Communication of Medication Prescriptions.

Texting health information is risky business
July 8, 2014

Text messaging shares many of the same risks as email including interception, misdirection, alteration, loss, and inference. However, it also poses additional risks that custodians must assess if texting health information, including:

  • Identification – How will you identify yourself to patients or colleagues via text? If you receive texts from patients or colleagues, how will you readily identify them and ensure authenticity?
  • Security – Text messages generally lack encryption; how will you ensure their secure transmission? How will you be certain that your message is received by the intended recipient?
  • Records management – How will you ensure the information communicated via text is included in the patient record?

No matter how you receive or transmit health information, you must meet all the requirements set out in the Health Information Act (HIA) and the Health Information Regulation.

Set your policies first
It is important to consider the risks and put in place appropriate risk mitigation strategies before using electronic means of transmitting individually identifying health information.

Section 63 of the HIA requires each custodian to establish or adopt policies and procedures that will facilitate the implementation of the Act and the regulations. You must implement appropriate physical, administrative, and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all patient health information you create, receive, maintain, or transmit.

Currently, a dedicated portal (e.g., Netcare) or encryption are the only options the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner consider to be secure for transmitting health information electronically.

Refer to Managing Mobile Devices in Your Health Care Organization for five steps to consider when creating your policies and procedures (this is an American resource, so the legislation cited is different but all the process steps apply).

Note that the HIA requires that custodians submit a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) to the Information and Privacy Commissioner before implementing a new administrative practice or information system that collects, uses, or discloses identifying health information.

Resources

  • Helping pharmacists and pharmacy technicians understand the Health Information Act
  • A Practical Guide to the Health Information Act
  • Communicating with patients via email: Know the risks (this resource also applies to texting)
  • Email Communication FAQs (this resource also applies to texting)
Post-professional Doctor of Pharmacy program taking applications
July 8, 2014

The U of A Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is now accepting applications for its full-time Post-professional PharmD Program for the program starting in September 2015.

Application deadline: September 1, 2014 (one year in advance)

The 2015 Post-Professional Doctor of Pharmacy full-time program is a one-year clinical undergraduate program. It includes classroom courses and experiential learning. The program’s goal is to further develop clinical skills required for the provision of optimal patient-centred care.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Practising pharmacists: You will need proof of registration on ACP's clinical register or be eligible for registration in Alberta.
  • Fourth-year BSc (Pharmacy) students: U of A student pharmacists graduating in June of 2015 (Class of 2015).
New Continuing Competence Program tutorial mandatory
July 8, 2014

Before May 31, 2015, all pharmacists on the clinical register must learn about and complete the requirements of the new Continuing Competence Program (CCP) to be eligible to renew their practice permit for the following registration year. Pharmacists can access all CCP materials, including the tutorial, through the CCP web portal on the ACP website.

To complete the new Continuing Competence Program, all pharmacists on the clinical register must:

  1. Complete at least 15 CEUs during the CE cycle (June 1-May 31) and document each activity on a Learning Record.
  2. Implement at least one CEU worth of learning into your practice and document this on an Implementation Record.
  3. Complete any prescribed learning assigned by the Competence Committee.
    • For the 2014/15 CE cycle, the prescribed learning is the web-based tutorial describing the Continuing Competence Program. This tutorial will provide an in-depth look at the revised competence program and will focus on how to complete an Implementation Record. Through examples, you will explore different types of implementation objectives and gain a clear understanding of what is expected to successfully complete this program. The CCP tutorial is available in the Self-Assessment/Prescribed Activities section of the CCP web portal.

Don’t delay – review the tutorial today and familiarize yourself with the new Continuing Competence Program.

Anaphylaxis guidelines updated
July 8, 2014

The Canadian Immunization Guide (CIG) section on anaphylaxis has been updated. Significant changes include the list of essential items to have in an anaphylaxis kit as well as the step-by-step protocol in managing anaphylaxis.

With immunization season approaching, pharmacists should be aware of current anaphylaxis protocols. Subscribe to receive CIG updates so you stay current.
Hearing notice: Serena Westad
June 25, 2014
Hearing status Scheduled
Registrant Serena Westad
Charge Unprofessional Conduct
Date July 22 and 23, 2014
Time 9:30 a.m.
Location

Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

In accordance with Section 78 of the Health Professions Act, this conduct hearing will be open to the public unless the hearing tribunal accepts a motion or application to close the hearing.
 
To inquire about available seating to observe this hearing, contact Margaret Morley at 780-990-0321 or hearings@pharmacists.ab.ca. Pre-registration is required and will only be accepted until July 8, 2014.
 
Please note that the hearing schedule is subject to change. Members of the public should check the ACP website for current hearing information.
 
Please direct media inquiries to Karen Mills, Communications Director, at 780-990-0321 or karen.mills@pharmacists.ab.ca
AGM resolutions carried
June 24, 2014

Registrants participating in ACP’s Annual General Meeting on June 11 voted on two resolutions via electronic ballot on June 16 and 17. Both of the amended resolutions were passed. Council will consider them at its next meeting in October.

1. Resolution to re-affirm the need to transmit complete prescription information via Netcare
This resolution was put forward to help facilitate a process whereby pharmacists enter the medication name, strength, directions for use, and other data as required in the Pharmaceutical Information Network to allow identification of complete prescription details.

The sponsors of the resolution highlighted three reasons why taking action is important:

  1. Many pediatric patients receive prescriptions for oral liquids that are not commercially available which require a pharmacist to extemporaneously compound ingredients in order to fulfill the prescription order, and
  2. There are no uniquely assigned designations for these compounds, and a generic “dummy” DIN is assigned by convention when transmitted into Netcare’s Pharmaceutical Information Network (PIN), and
  3. These prescriptions often do not contain drug name or strength, leading to greater potential for medication errors in a very vulnerable patient population.

The original resolution asked that ACP work with RxA and the Integrated Clinical Working Group (ICWG). AGM participants recognized that ACP and RxA contribute to many committees within Netcare, and felt the resolution should reflect this. Therefore, the resolution was amended accordingly, and all references to the ICWG were replaced with Alberta Netcare committees.

2. Resolution to mandate all drug sampling be done via drug sample cards dispensed from licensed pharmacies
This resolution generated questions about drug sampling in general.

  • Why should sample card practice continue when pharmacists may now offer trial prescriptions?
  • How do we ensure that drug sampling information is recorded on Netcare?
  • How do we capture complete drug information when sampling occurs?

After considering these questions, the resolution was amended to request that ACP work with the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) to discuss the whole practice of drug sampling.

Celebrating pharmacy
June 24, 2014

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to celebrate many special pharmacy occasions – APEX Awards on May 21, Grad Breakfast on June 5, the installation of new president Brad Willsey on June 12, and the inaugural leadership forum on June 13 and 14.

Look through our photo albums:

APEX Awards 

Grad Breakfast 

Installation of the President

New pharmacy licence? Update your website
June 24, 2014

When you receive your 2014-2015 pharmacy licence, ensure it is uploaded onto your website. Section 23 of the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation requires that pharmacy websites display a scanned copy of the current pharmacy licence.

Please ensure that the information displayed is current and meets the requirements of Pharmacy and Drug Regulation (Section 23):

  • The location, mailing address, email address and telephone number of the licensed pharmacy
  • The name, pharmacist practice permit number, and business address of the licensee
  • A statement that the licensee is required to provide, on the request of a patient, the name and practice permit number of any regulated member who provides a pharmacy service to the patient or who engages in the practice of pharmacy with respect to a patient
  • The name and business address of the proprietor
  • If the proprietor is a corporation, the name of the proprietor’s representative
  • A scanned copy of the Patient Concerns poster (a link to the poster on the ACP website is also acceptable).
PEBC assessors needed
June 24, 2014
PEBC invites interested pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to apply as assessors. Exams are held in both Calgary and Edmonton on the following dates:
  • OSPE (pharmacy technician exam) – Sunday, September 7
  • OSCE (pharmacist exam) – Saturday, November 8

Please refer to the PEBC Assessor Application Form for further eligibility and application details.

Hearing notice: Colin Porozni
June 12, 2014
Hearing status Scheduled
Registrant Colin Porozni
Charge Unprofessional Conduct and Misconduct
Date September 10 and 11, 2014
Time 9:30 a.m.
Location

Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

In accordance with Section 78 of the Health Professions Act, this conduct hearing will be open to the public unless the hearing tribunal accepts a motion or application to close the hearing.
 
To inquire about available seating to observe this hearing, contact Margaret Morley at 780-990-0321 or hearings@pharmacists.ab.ca. Pre-registration is required and will only be accepted until August 27, 2014.
 
Please note that the hearing schedule is subject to change. Members of the public should check the ACP website for current hearing information.
 
Please direct media inquiries to Karen Mills, Communications Director, at 780-990-0321 or karen.mills@pharmacists.ab.ca
Inducement prohibition stay granted
June 10, 2014

The prohibition on inducements will not come into effect today because a stay was granted on June 4. The stay will remain in effect until a judicial review is completed. The college will defend the amendments to the Code of Ethics and Standards that prohibit inducements at the judicial review, currently scheduled to be heard by the Court in January 2015.

See the ACP website for more information.

Originally published in the June 10, 2014 issue of The Link 

Congratulations Class of 2014!
June 10, 2014

ACP welcomed the newest class of pharmacists into practice at the annual Grad Breakfast on June 5.

Kelly Olstad, ACP President, with ACP Gold Medal winner Sabrina Phippen. The Gold Medal is awarded to the student with the highest academic standing in the graduating class.  
  Institutional Preceptor of the Year Joseph Blais, with student Vesna Nguyen
  Cheryl Cox, Experiential Education Coordinator,student Natalia Khoma, andCommunity Preceptor of the Year Nermen Kassam
  Dean James Kehrer, Jessica Pyrch, Value Drug Mart Leadership Award winner, and Kelly Olstad, ACP Preside
Interns still need supervising
June 10, 2014

This spring’s pharmacist PEBC results will be released on July 7. A pharmacy intern cannot be licensed as a clinical pharmacist until ACP receives confirmation that the intern has successfully passed the Qualifying Examination. Interns must continue to work under supervision until they are licensed as a clinical pharmacist.

See Standard 3 of the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies for supervision details.
PEBC assessors needed
June 10, 2014

PEBC invites interested pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to apply as assessors. Exams are held in both Calgary and Edmonton on the following dates:

  • OSPE (pharmacy technician exam) – Sunday, September 7
  • OSCE (pharmacist exam) – Saturday, November 8 
Please refer to the PEBC Assessor Application Form for further eligibility and application details.
Council meeting June 12
June 9, 2014

June 12, 2014
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jasper Room, Hotel MacDonald
Edmonton, AB

View the agenda

Council meetings are open to observers at council’s discretion. To reserve a seat, please call Leslie Ainslie at 780-990-0321, 1-877-227-3838 or email executiveassistant@pharmacists.ab.ca. Due to seating limitations, priority will be given to college registrants who have registered in advance of the meeting.

ACP employment opportunity: Administrator
June 6, 2014

Reporting to the deputy registrar, the administrator is responsible for supporting and assisting the quality practice team and the complaints director as well as other members of the team as required.

The administrator will support various programs during periods of high work volume or employee absences. This includes but is not limited to the complaints resolution, registration, competence, professional practice, practice development, and records management programs.

A significant portion of the administrator’s time will be dedicated to supporting the complaints resolution program. In this role, the administrator is the first person of contact for incoming complaints or concerns and is responsible for educating the complainant about the college's complaint resolution process and for resolving information requests at first contact whenever possible.

More information and application details

Inducement prohibition stay granted
June 4, 2014

Sobeys, operating as Safeway and Sobeys in Alberta, applied to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a judicial review of the prohibition on inducements. The judicial review is currently scheduled to be heard by the Court in January 2015.

The prohibition on inducements was to come into effect on June 10, 2014. Sobeys applied to the Court for a stay on the prohibition on inducements until the judicial review can be heard by the Court. The application for the stay was heard on May 23, 2014. On June 4, 2014, the judge made his ruling and has granted the stay until Sobeys’ application for judicial review can be heard.

Therefore, in accordance with the direction of the court, the amendments prohibiting inducements on the condition that a patient obtain a drug product or professional service will not go into effect on June 10, 2014. Those amendments are stayed until the Court hears arguments about and decides Sobeys’ application for judicial review.

When amending our Standards and Code of Ethics, our council made a carefully considered decision acting within its authority and responsibilities. When Sobeys’ application for judicial review comes before Court, the college will defend the amendments to the Code of Ethics and Standards that prohibit inducements conditional on a patient obtaining a drug product or professional service from a regulated member or licensed pharmacy.

To learn more about the prohibition and the reasons for it, please see the FAQs, amended standards, and background paper on our website.

We will keep registrants informed of developments concerning this matter.

Originally published in the June 4, 2014 issue of The Link 

Apply by May 30 for inaugural ACP Leadership Forum
May 27, 2014

ACP has engaged the Banff Centre for Leadership to facilitate our first annual Leadership Forum. ACP is now inviting applications from aspiring pharmacist and pharmacy technician leaders to participate in this professional development opportunity.

Council has identified leadership as a critical success factor for pharmacy practice and the college. Leadership skills are important across our professions, whether it means being a practice leader or an organizational leader. These skills are of value in our family and community lives too.

The forum will introduce aspiring pharmacy leaders to thought processes and skills to help them lead in a world of constant change. With the help of skilled facilitators and a range of group and individual learning activities, participants will leave with new skills and confidence. The learning will be applicable to any practice setting.

Event details
Late afternoon of Thursday, June 12 to late afternoon of Saturday, June 14
Edmonton, AB

ACP will cover accommodation and meal costs for candidates selected to attend. Transportation and out-of-pocket expenses will be personal responsibilities.

How to apply
To apply, please submit:

  • A covering letter that describes your leadership aspirations, particularly as they relate to your professional role and ACP; and
  • A copy of your CV, outlining your professional background and achievements, your leadership experiences, and any awards that you have received.

This information will be the foundation for selecting candidates for the limited number of positions available.

Application deadline May 30
Please forward your application and supporting documentation to leslie.ainslie@pharmacists.ab.ca by noon on Friday, May 30, 2014. We will notify selected candidates early the following week.

Alberta-specific Opioid Dependence Treatment course available
May 27, 2014

CAMH Opioid Dependence Treatment Core Course - Alberta Version
Online Course
May 16 – July 16, 2014 [You can still register!]
June 17 – webinar [Participants must review the podcasts prior to the webinar.]

This course is collaborative education, designed by and for pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. For course details, go to http://medicine.ucalgary.ca/files/med/CAMH_ODT_ABCourse_Calgary.pdf. 

Council meeting June 12
May 27, 2014

Jasper Room, Hotel MacDonald
Edmonton, AB

Council meetings are open to observers at council’s discretion. To reserve a seat, please call Leslie Ainslie at 780-990-0321, 1-877-227-3838 or email executiveassistant@pharmacists.ab.ca. Due to seating limitations, priority will be given to college registrants who have registered in advance of the meeting.

Register for annual general meeting
May 27, 2014

Wednesday, June 11
7 to 8:30 p.m. 
Hotel MacDonald, Edmonton

The meeting will be webcast for those who cannot attend in person.
View the meeting agenda

Pre-registration is required, whether participating in person or online. Registration will be open until noon on Friday, June 6.

Attending in person
ACP has reserved space at the Hotel MacDonald to accommodate a limited number of individuals, based on previous attendance numbers. Voting members will be given priority for the limited number of seats available at the event. To register, please contact Leslie Ainslie at executiveassistant@pharmacists.ab.ca or call 780-990-0321.

Attending online
ACP will offer a webcast of the annual general meeting, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11. You must register in advance to view the webcast. Register online now for the AGM.

Resolution and voting information
Voting members in attendance and those who pre-register and participate through distance delivery will constitute the quorum for the meeting. Pre-registered members participating at a distance will be able to participate in the discussion through computer enabled technology, but will not be able to vote on items other than the final resolutions from the meeting.

Both those voting members in attendance and those who pre-register and participate through distance delivery will be invited to vote on resolutions (as potentially amended during the AGM) through an electronic ballot after the AGM.

NOTE: Only those voting members participating in the meeting will be able to vote on the resolutions, as being party to the context of the discussion about each resolution is important to your decision.

Who is a voting member?

Section 19 of the ACP bylaws define a voting member as:

  1. A clinical pharmacist or an honourary life-pharmacist registrant
  2. A pharmacy technician or an honourary life-pharmacy technician registrant

What resolutions are being discussed?

The following two resolutions will be discussed at this year’s AGM:

  1. Resolution to re-affirm the need to transmit complete prescription information via Netcare
  2. Resolution to mandate all drug sampling be done via drug sample cards dispensed from licensed pharmacies
2014 annual general meeting registration information
May 22, 2014

Attending the meeting in person

ACP has reserved space at the Hotel MacDonald to accommodate a limited number of individuals, based on previous attendance numbers. Voting members will be given priority for the limited number of seats available at the event. To register, please contact Leslie Ainslie at executiveassistant@pharmacists.ab.ca or call 780-990-0321.


Attending the meeting online

ACP will offer a webcast of the annual general meeting, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11. You must register in advance to view the webcast. Register online now for the AGM.

Registration will be open until noon on Friday, June 6.


Hearing notice: Sonia Chahal
May 21, 2014
Hearing status Scheduled
Registrant Sonia Chahal
Charge Unprofessional Conduct
Date June 19, 2014
Time 9:30 a.m.
Location

Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2C8

In accordance with Section 78 of the Health Professions Act, this conduct hearing will be open to the public unless the hearing tribunal accepts a motion or application to close the hearing.
 
To inquire about available seating to observe this hearing, contact Margaret Morley at 780-990-0321 or hearings@pharmacists.ab.ca. Pre-registration is required and will only be accepted until June 5, 2014.
 
Please note that the hearing schedule is subject to change. Members of the public should check the ACP website for current hearing information.
 
Please direct media inquiries to Karen Mills, Communications Director, at 780-990-0321 or karen.mills@pharmacists.ab.ca
Annual report online
May 13, 2014
  • Did the number of initial prescribers increase 67%, 89%, or 98% last year?
  • What percentage of Albertans were very satisfied with the pharmacy services they received last year: 39%, 59%, or 79%?
  • How many new pharmacies opened last year: 36, 42, or 63?

Find the answers – and a lot more - in ACP’s 2013-14 annual report. Flip through the report for a quick overview of how the college and practitioners contributed to the health of Albertans.

Apply by May 30 for inaugural ACP Leadership Forum
May 13, 2014

ACP has engaged the Banff Centre for Leadership to facilitate our first annual Leadership Forum. ACP is now inviting applications from aspiring pharmacist and pharmacy technician leaders to participate in this professional development opportunity.

Council has identified leadership as a critical success factor for pharmacy practice and the college. Leadership skills are important across our professions, whether it means being a practice leader or an organizational leader. These skills are of value in our family and community lives too.

The forum will introduce aspiring pharmacy leaders to thought processes and skills to help them lead in a world of constant change. With the help of skilled facilitators and a range of group and individual learning activities, participants will leave with new skills and confidence. The learning will be applicable to any practice setting.

Event details
Late afternoon of Thursday, June 12 to late afternoon of Saturday, June 14
Edmonton, AB

ACP will cover accommodation and meal costs for candidates selected to attend. Transportation and out-of-pocket expenses will be personal responsibilities.

How to apply
To apply, please submit:

  • A covering letter that describes your leadership aspirations, particularly as they relate to your professional role and ACP; and

  • A copy of your CV, outlining your professional background and achievements, your leadership experiences, and any awards that you have received.

This information will be the foundation for selecting candidates for the limited number of positions available.

Application deadline
Please forward your application and supporting documentation to leslie.ainslie@pharmacists.ab.ca by noon on Friday, May 30, 2014. We will notify selected candidates early the following week.

Register for annual general meeting
May 13, 2014
Wednesday, June 11
7 to 8:30 p.m. 
Hotel MacDonald, Edmonton

Council wishes to reach out to members (pharmacists and pharmacy technicians), so will again webcast the AGM for those who cannot attend in person. 

Pre-registration is required, whether participating in person or online.

To register

ACP has reserved space at the Hotel MacDonald to accommodate a limited number of individuals, based on previous attendance numbers. Please pre-register to confirm your attendance at the AGM, regardless of whether you will be attending in person or through distance technology. Voting members will be given priority for the limited number of seats available at the event.

Registration instructions will be posted on the ACP website on Thursday, May 22. 

Registration will be open until noon on Friday, June 6.

Resolution and voting information

Voting members in attendance and those who pre-register and participate through distance delivery will constitute the quorum for the meeting. Pre-registered members participating at a distance will be able to participate in the discussion through computer-enabled technology, but will not be able to vote on items other than the final resolutions from the meeting.

Both those voting members in attendance and those who pre-register and participate through distance delivery will be invited to vote on resolutions (as potentially amended during the AGM) through an electronic ballot after the AGM.

NOTE: Only those voting members participating in the meeting will be able to vote on the resolutions, as being party to the context of the discussion about each resolution is important to your decision.

What resolutions are being discussed?

The following two resolutions will be discussed at this year’s AGM:

  1. Resolution to re-affirm the need to transmit complete prescription information via Netcare
  2. Resolution to mandate all drug sampling be done via drug sample cards dispensed from licensed pharmacies

Who is a voting member?

Section 19 of the ACP bylaws define a voting member as:

  1. A clinical pharmacist or an honourary life-pharmacist registrant
  2. A pharmacy technician or an honourary life-pharmacy technician registrant
Annual General Meeting on June 11
April 29, 2014

ACP’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on the evening of June 11 in Edmonton. Council is committed to engagement with our registrants. Therefore, the annual meeting will again be webcast. Please watch The Link for further details about the venue, starting time, and registration instructions.

Voting members in attendance and those who pre-register and participate through distance delivery will constitute the quorum for the meeting. Both those voting members in attendance and those who pre-register and participate through distance delivery will be invited to vote on resolutions (as potentially amended during the AGM) through an electronic ballot after the AGM.

Pre-registered members participating at a distance will be able to participate in the discussion through computer enabled technology, but will not be able to vote on items other than the final resolutions from the meeting.

What resolutions are being discussed?

The following two resolutions will be discussed at this year’s AGM:

  1. Resolution to re-affirm the need to transmit complete prescription information via Netcare
  2. Resolution to mandate all drug sampling be done via drug sample cards dispensed from licensed pharmacies

Who is a voting member?

Section 19 of the ACP bylaws define a voting member as:

  1. A clinical pharmacist or an honourary life-pharmacist registrant
  2. A pharmacy technician or an honourary life-pharmacy technician registrant
Using your online CPD log: A snapshot
April 29, 2014

As May 31 approaches and pharmacists complete their online CPD log, many questions may surface. Look to ACP’s quick hints sheet to help you find the answers you need.

The ACP database was provided for convenience only, and not to confirm or validate pharmacist-accredited courses. The responsibility remains that of the pharmacist to ensure that the accredited course title and course number is exactly as seen on your certificate for audit purposes.

Inducement prohibition effective date now June 10
April 29, 2014

Council originally established May 1, 2014 as the date for the inducement prohibition to come into effect. The college wrote to pharmacy groups, requesting that they identify any technical or operational impediments that would impede compliance before this date. As a result of feedback received, council amended the date for coming into effect to June 10, 2014, which is 60 days after council’s decision to adopt the amendments.

The college adopted the prohibition because:

  1. We recognize that pharmacists are healthcare professionals, not just vendors of drugs. The prohibition acknowledges pharmacists changing role and the complex patient care pharmacists are now starting to do - adapting prescriptions, administering injections, writing care plans, coordinating drug therapy, and prescribing. In doing so, pharmacists are assuming more significant roles as essential healthcare professionals. It is not appropriate for health professionals making such critical care decisions to be involved in offering inducements to people to use their services.
     
  2. Healthcare delivery is evolving. Healthcare delivery is becoming more team based (for example, Primary Care Networks and Family Care Clinics). Trust and strong relationships are required for success. Pharmacists need to have a trusting relationship with patients for the best care. The foundation for these relationships needs to be trust, not the rewards a patient can get. In team-based care, pharmacists also need to have trusting relationships with the members of the patient's healthcare team. 
     
  3. When a patient transfers pharmacies or uses multiple pharmacies by reason of the inducements provided, the patient's relationship with the pharmacist is not the only one affected. It also impacts the relationships between the pharmacist and the other members of the patient's healthcare team. It takes time to establish a complete patient history, mutual therapy goals, and lines of communication among team members who often practice in different locations and see the patient over differing periods of time. If team members are constantly changed or only have access to portions of a patient's medical and care history, it makes it extremely difficult for them to work together effectively and ensure continuity of care.
     
  4. Alberta is not unique in addressing inducements. Seven other provinces have rules in various forms that prohibit or restrict the use of inducements in pharmacy. For example, Ontario has prohibited inducements on prescriptions and prescription services for over a decade.

As the regulatory body, it’s our job to make sure practice environments support our registrants and the care they provide to patients. It is also our job to set and maintain high ethical and practice standards, and support the integrity of pharmacy. The prohibition maintains the high ethical and practice standards we and Albertans expect from health professionals.

For more information, please see the amendmentsFAQ document and background paper posted on the ACP website.

Originally published in the April 29, 2014 issue of The Link 

An Evening Out: May 12 Southern Alberta pharmacy event
April 29, 2014

To recognize the valuable contributions of Southern Alberta pharmacy alumni and preceptors, the U of A Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has planned a special evening of celebration and fun!

Enjoy hors d'oeuvres during the evening while you reconnect with your fellow preceptors and hear from a guest speaker at Calgary’s Heritage Park. 

Monday, May 12, 2014
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Wainwright Hotel, Heritage Park (1900 Heritage Drive SW; Calgary)

RSVP 
Michelle Maccagno, Assistant to the Dean
Tel: 780.492.0199
Email: mm29@ualberta.ca

Inducement prohibition questions?
April 29, 2014

Do you have questions about when inducements are prohibited and when they aren’t? We have developed an FAQ document and will be adding to it. We are designing a decision algorithm, as well as answers to questions about glucose test strips and the use of credit cards that offer points. Please watch the website and upcoming editions of The Link for updates.

If you have other questions, please email them to communications@pharmacists.ab.ca.

Originally published in the April 29, 2014 issue of The Link 

April 2014 Adverse Reaction newsletter now online
April 26, 2014
The April 2014 issue of the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter published by the Marketed Health Products Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch is now available. This newsletter provides regular feedback to health professionals on adverse reactions reported in Canada.
 

In this issue:

For a complete listing, please go to http://www.health.gc.ca/carn.

Pharmacist online renewal now open
April 17, 2014

It’s renewal time for pharmacists and pharmacies!

Pharmacist practice permit renewals are due by May 31, 2014.

ACP emailed renewal notices to all pharmacists on April 17, 2014. If you have misplaced that message, here are the instructions for renewal: 

  1. Go to the ACP website (pharmacists.ab.ca)
  2. Click on Registrant profile login.
  3. Log on and select the Renewal tab. Follow the tabs under Renewal for each step of the renewal process.

See the tip sheet for helpful hints.

If your employer is paying your fees, you are still responsible for ensuring ACP receives payment before May 31. Your practice permit will not be issued until ACP receives payment and you cannot practice without a valid permit.


Questions? Contact us

Pharmacist reinstatement requests: statuschange@pharmacists.ab.ca
Pharmacist renewal questions: registrationinfo@pharmacists.ab.ca
CEU, CPD log, audit questions: competenceinfo@pharmacists.ab.ca
Tel: 780-990-0321
Toll-free: 1-877-227-3838
Fax: 780-990-0328
ACP employment opportunity: records management coordinator
April 15, 2014
Reporting to the Operations and Finance Director, the Records Management Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the college’s records and information management systems as well as developing and implementing records management policies and procedures. This includes both physical and electronic records.
 

The Records Management Coordinator is a resource to employees of the college and will educate, guide and empower them to adhere to corporately approved records and information management policies and procedures.

Visit our careers section to learn more about this position

AHS MedRec update
April 15, 2014

The April MedRec newsletter is now available. Read it to see:

  • What materials are available to you and your patients,and
  • How the program is impacting patients in long-term care, acute care, and corrections.
PEBC assessors needed
April 15, 2014

PEBC invites interested pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to apply as assessors. Exams are held in both Calgary and Edmonton on the following dates:

OSCE – Sunday, May 25 and Sunday, November 8
OSPE – Sunday, September 7

Please refer to the PEBC Assessor Application Form for further eligibility and application details.

New jurisprudence learning module
April 15, 2014
  • How well do you know the legislation and standards that govern pharmacy practice in Alberta?
  • Would you like to review the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians?
  • Do you need help preparing for the ethics and jurisprudence exam? 

An online jurisprudence learning module is now available to all registrants through the ACP website and is applicable to all pharmacy professionals. This interactive module was developed to help you understand the Standards of Practice, the Code of Ethics, and federal and provincial legislation that pertain to pharmacy practice. We invite you to take a look, review a chapter, or complete the entire module. Whatever your learning needs are, we hope you enjoy and take advantage of this resource.

New ACP website needs testing: any volunteers?
April 15, 2014
Our new website is nearly complete, and we want your opinion on the design and navigation. If you are interested in giving it a test drive (no advanced computer skills required), please email sheena.mcnally@pharmacists.ab.ca before April 25.
Council election results
April 15, 2014

The District 4, 5 and technician elections closed on April 10 and the results are in.

     
District 4 (Central Alberta)
Kelly Olstad

District 5 (Calgary)
Brad Couldwell

 Pharmacy Technician (South)
Jennifer Teichroeb

Congratulations to all! Thank you candidates and voters for your participation. New councillors will begin their terms on July 1.

Inducement prohibition
April 15, 2014

On April 10, ACP’s council voted to amend the Code of Ethics and Standards to prohibit regulated members from offering, providing or being party to offering or providing an inducement in exchange for that patient obtaining a drug product or a professional service from the regulated member or the licensed pharmacy. The prohibition will come into effect on May 1, 2014.

We know you and your patients will have many questions. Please refer to the new FAQ document and background paper for answers.

If you have questions that are not answered here, please email communications@pharmacists.ab.ca.

Originally published in the April 15, 2014 issue of The Link 

Council meeting April 9 and 10
April 1, 2014
Centennial Room, Westin Hotel
Edmonton, AB
View the agenda
 
Council meetings are open to observers at council’s discretion. To reserve a seat, please call Leslie Ainslie at 780-990-0321, 1-877-227-3838 or email executiveassistant@pharmacists.ab.ca. Due to seating limitations, priority will be given to college registrants who have registered in advance of the meeting.
Applying for APA? Don't forget...
April 1, 2014
If you are applying for additional prescribing authorization, don't forget to include two copies of your entire application package.
Misleading advertising: "free" vs. "no charge"
April 1, 2014

Patients may not have to pay out of pocket for a CACP or SMMA, but that does not mean the services are free. Advertising them as such has two negative repercussions.

What's wrong with using "free?"

1) It violates the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation. Section 24(1)(a) of the Pharmacy and Drug Regulation stipulates that, “A licensee and a proprietor must ensure that advertising in relation to a licensed pharmacy is not false or misleading.” If a third party is paying for the service, it is not free and patients should be aware that there is a cost to their health plan and the province. 

2) It potentially devalues the professional expertise pharmacists provide. Done properly, care plans and medication management assessments involve pharmacists’:

  1. Skills in assessment;
  2. Knowledge of medications, potential interactions, and drug therapy problems; and
  3. Time to review and interpret appropriate information (e.g., Netcare, lab results), document, and collaborate with other members of the patient’s health team.

Not instilling in patients that these professional services require knowledge and skills unique to pharmacists and have great worth does a disservice to the profession.

Originally published in April 10, 2014, issue of The Link

New warning coming with emergency contraceptive pills
April 1, 2014

Emergency contraceptive pills, also known as the “morning after” pill, will soon carry new warnings about reduced effectiveness in women weighing over 165 pounds.

Health Canada has asked companies to add new warnings to product packages advising that these pills are less effective in women weighing 165 to 176 pounds (75-80 kg), and are not effective in women over 176 pounds (80 kg). They are advising women who weigh 165 pounds (75kg) or more to talk to a health professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist, for advice on alternative methods of emergency contraception.

Clozapine cautions
April 1, 2014

All patients taking clozapine must have their blood monitored before starting and throughout the course of clozapine therapy to mitigate the risk of agranulocytosis. The patients, their treating physicians, and dispensing pharmacists must be enrolled in manufacturer-specific registries. Pharmacists may not unilaterally switch patients from one brand to another.

The registries are specific to each market authorization holder. Health Canada has set the following policies in place should a patient need to change brands.

Policies for switching

  1. The switching of a patient from one brand of clozapine to another must not be done by a pharmacist unless he/she obtains a new, registry-specific patient registration form filled out by the prescribing physician.
  2. The physician has to inform his/her patient about the potential sharing of information between clozapine registries and document if there is consent from the patient to allow it, to ensure the safe use and continuous monitoring of patients taking clozapine.
  3. The responsibility of physicians concerning the sending of the mandatory laboratory results (white blood cell counts an differential) to the appropriate registry will be limited to informing the laboratory where the patient’s haematological results have to be sent.
  4. Weekly monitoring of neutrophils and white cell counts for four weeks at the end of the treatment is necessary only in the case of cessation of all clozapine treatment.

ACP has received concerns that some community pharmacists may be unilaterally switching patients from one brand of clozapine to another. This practice is contrary to the federal requirements.

Which 5 lab tests can't a pharmacist order?
April 1, 2014

Ordering a lab test can be part of considering appropriate information for a patient. However, keep in mind that standards and legislation limit which tests pharmacists may order.

Pharmacists must only order lab tests if indicated to assist in the management of drug therapy for a patient.

Pharmacists may not order:

  1. Any form of ionizing or non-ionizing radiation; these are restricted activities. In other words, pharmacists may not order x-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs.1
  2. Any test which is beyond their personal competency to order or interpret.2
  3. Any test for which they are not prepared to take appropriate action on if the results of the test are outside the normal or expected range.2
  4. Any test that is already available from another source.2
  5. Any test for patients with whom they haven’t developed a professional relationship.2
 

Want to know more about ordering lab tests?

These sources outline the process, requirements, and best practices.  

  • Guidelines for pharmacists ordering laboratory tests and using laboratory data
  • Standard 3, Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
  • Ordering lab tests information page on the ACP website
     

[1] Schedule 7.1, Government Organization Act

[2] Standard 3, Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

Prescribing via therapeutic substitution should be limited to drugs within the same therapeutic class
April 1, 2014

We have received several questions about adapting a prescription via therapeutic substitution, and it has come to our attention that some pharmacists are applying this authority very liberally. This authority must not be confused with initiating therapy or prescribing to manage ongoing therapy, which requires additional prescribing authorization.

The legislation and standards indicate that a pharmacist may adapt a prescription from another prescriber by substituting another drug that is expected to have a similar therapeutic effect. This type of adaptation should be limited to drugs within the same therapeutic class. Substituting a drug that employs a different pharmacologic action to achieve a similar therapeutic effect virtually always requires an assessment of the patient and a prescribing judgment. Prescribing based on the pharmacist’s own assessment of the patient requires additional prescribing authorization. 

Examples

  • While it may be appropriate for a pharmacist who does not have additional prescribing authorization to substitute one beta blocker for another or one proton pump inhibitor for another when filling a new prescription, it is not appropriate to substitute a beta-blocker for an ace inhibitor or vise versa when treating hypertension.
     
  • It is not appropriate for a pharmacist to substitute a topical product containing calcipotriol with one that also contains betamethasone when treating psoriasis.

These examples are prescribing decisions limited to pharmacists who have APA privileges.

Additional information

  • Prescribing by adaptation is allowed for new prescriptions only. Changing a prescription by therapeutic substitution at a refill is considered managing ongoing therapy which requires additional prescribing authorization.
     
  • Substituting a product that includes a combination of more than one drug when only one drug was initially prescribed would be considered initiating drug therapy which requires additional prescribing authorization.
Congratulations APEX Award winners!
March 19, 2014

The APEX Awards recognize excellence in pharmacy practice in Alberta. The awards are jointly funded, promoted, and presented by the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA) and the Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP).


M.J. Huston Pharmacist of Distinction –
Rita Bowron
Safeway Pharmacy #285, Calgary

W.L. Boddy Pharmacy Team Award –
Safeway Pharmacy, Airdrie
Chris Borys, manager

Award of Excellence –
Jeff Schlotter
Rexall Specialty Pharmacy, Edmonton

Friend of Pharmacy –
Dr. Andrew Cave
Family physician and professor, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, U of A; Edmonton

Future of Pharmacy –
Ashley Davidson
Associate Owner/Pharmacist, Shoppers Drug Mart #323; St. Albert

Tim Leung
Pharmacist, University of Alberta Hospital; Edmonton

Ashley Young
Pharmacist, Pharmacare Specialty Pharmacy; Edmonton

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Bowl of Hygeia –
Don Makowichuk
LifeMed Pharmacies, Edmonton


Look for full profiles of all recipients in upcoming editions of acpnews and The Link.

Resolutions for AGM due April 11
March 19, 2014

Registrants may propose resolutions for consideration at ACP’s annual general meeting (June 11 this year). All resolutions carried at the AGM are then considered by council. Resolutions are a way ACP registrants can contribute to the discussions of council.

Resolutions should relate to ACP’s mandated responsibilities: public safety, effective pharmacy practice, and health policy. See the resolution guidelines and examples of past resolutions.

Resolutions proposed for this year’s AGM must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on April 11, 2014.

Submit your resolution in writing, accompanied by the signatures of 10 voting registrants in good standing, to:

Leslie Ainslie, Executive Assistant
Alberta College of Pharmacists
1100 - 8215 112 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8
Fax: 780-990-0328
Email: leslie.ainslie@pharmacists.ab.ca

Call for committee members
March 19, 2014
ACP is compiling a roster of candidates interested in participating on ACP committees and working groups. We are looking for individuals wanting to be involved with one of the following areas:
  • Registration and entry to practice
  • Competence and Continuing Education
  • Quality pharmacist practice, including standards of practice and pharmacist performance
  • Complaints Resolution, including Hearing Tribunals

Interested?

Please submit the ACP Committee Candidate Biographical Sketch Form by April 30, 2014 to:

executiveassistant@pharmacists.ab.ca
Fax: 780-990-0328

On your submission, please indicate which area you are interested in participating in. If you select more than one area, please identify your choices in order of preference.

Time commitment will depend on the type and purpose of the group.

Two actions that prevent multiple dangers
March 18, 2014

“I understand that this is an unusual choice for medication abuse, and…” 

This is an excerpt from an email we recently received at the college:

“We have a patient at our pharmacy who has been abusing inhalers (Advair/Ventolin). Due to multiple DINs (brand/generic/HFA/diskus) it is not automatically rejected by her insurance program.

“I understand that this is an unusual choice for medication abuse, and we are working closely with her insurance and doctor to try to ensure safe therapy. Unfortunately, we have noticed on Netcare that she is getting pharmacists to prescribe "refills" of her inhalers, in addition to double-doctoring, allowing her to fill a month’s supply every 5-7 days. Narcotics are not the only medications that can be abused/diverted/misused and pharmacist prescribing is clearly another source of access for this particular patient. Is it possible to include an update on this in the next email mail-out to pharmacists to increase awareness?

“This could be avoided if pharmacists with whom she is not a regular customer checked Netcare prior to prescribing/filling.”

The lessons?

  1. Check Netcare BEFORE preparing a prescription. This is a must for patients who are not regular customers, but is also sound practice for all your patients. Pharmacists must consider appropriate information for each patient (see Standard 3).
  2. Always assess appropriate use of medication to prevent both abuse and misuse.

If you hold additional prescribing authorization, also ensure that you conduct a thorough patient assessment (including checking Netcare) before making any prescribing decisions. See Standard 14 for assessment requirements.

Tobacco cessation campaign: "Keep trying"
March 18, 2014

On March 24, AHS will launch its “Keep trying” tobacco cessation campaign. The campaign is aimed at women aged 25-44. Acknowledging relapse is a core message of this campaign, inspiring and empowering women to keep trying on their cessation journey and to double their chances for success with the help of AlbertaQuits.

Through the AlbertaQuits website, the public can access a telephone helpline, QuitCore groups, e-quit tips, texting quit tips, ask the expert, and community forums.

Additionally, through the AlbertaQuits website, health professionals can access the Tobacco Free Futures online catalogue to obtain a variety of free resources to support tobacco reduction efforts, including the posters used in the “Keep trying” campaign.

What pharmacy-related expenditures can patients claim?
March 18, 2014

According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), drug costs can be claimed only if acquired lawfully, prescribed by a medical practitioner and recorded by a pharmacist. Over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements, even if prescribed by a medical practitioner, cannot be claimed.

It is still appropriate to provide a receipt for unprescribed medications; however, the receipt should not be labelled as an official receipt for tax purposes.

For more information, see the CRA website (www.cra-arc.gc.ca).

The Health Information Act provides guidance for pharmacists when issuing receipts. Prescription receipts for income tax purposes contain individually identifying diagnostic, treatment and care information (DIN) and registration information. The Act permits disclosure of individually identifying health information beyond the controlled arena to:

  • the individual who is the subject of the information,
  • the authorized representative of the individual, and
  • third parties with the individual’s consent.

This consent must be provided in writing or electronically and must include:

  • an authorization for the custodian to disclose the health information specified in the consent;
  • the purpose for which the health information may be disclosed;
  • the identity of the person to whom the health information may be disclosed;
  • an acknowledgment that the individual providing the consent has been made aware of the reasons why the health information is needed and the risks and benefits to the individual of consenting or refusing to consent;
  • the date the consent is effective and the date, if any, on which the consent expires; and
  • a statement that the consent may be revoked at any time by the individual providing it.

If all of the disclosures are to the individual or their authorized representative, a disclosure notation and notice to recipient is not required. If a disclosure is made to a third party with the individual’s consent, a notice to recipient would be required.

Voting instructions - council election opens March 14
March 13, 2014
Voting opens at 8 a.m. on March 14 for council positions in District 4 (central Alberta), District 5 (Calgary), and for an elected pharmacy technician in southern Alberta.

All voting is online, at http://pharmacists.ab.ca/vote2014.

Voting will close April 10 at 4:30 p.m.
 
A biographical sketch of each candidate is posted on the election site. All candidates will also have the opportunity to have ACP send two emails on their behalf to voters in their district. Watch your inbox for those messages. 
 
Eligible members in election districts will receive voting instructions by email at the email address they have registered with ACP.
 
Congratulations to Clayton Braun who was awarded his second term in District 2 (southern Alberta) by acclamation.
Have Windows XP? Your Netcare information may be compromised
March 4, 2014

Microsoft has announced that they will no longer support Windows XP after April 8, 2014. This decision is a significant security issue for Netcare. All community sites still using Windows XP should upgrade to a supported operating system before April 8, 2014.

Custodians that continue to operate with unsupported/unpatched Windows XP PCs are exposing themselves and their data to increased risk from attackers, as well as potentially exposing their clinical systems and Netcare information flows to monitoring, copying, and corruption.

All existing Community sites still using Windows XP should have a migration plan in place to upgrade to a supported operating system to be executed in advance of April 8, 2014.Community sites using Mac OS X, Linux, or other operating systems are not exempt from the requirement to use a supported operating system.

Community sites are reminded of their responsibility to operate and continually update the security for their site as it pertains to their signed pORA agreement.

If you have any questions, please contact your Transition Coordinator or the Alberta Health Security Team at: AHSecurity@gov.ab.ca.

See the full notice from Alberta Health

Call for anticoagulation mgmt in central Alberta
March 4, 2014

The Central Alberta Anticoagulation Clinic (CAAC) is inquiring if there are any pharmacies/pharmacists in Red Deer and the surrounding area who are currently (or considering) providing warfarin/anticoagulation management services. 

CAAC is located in the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. The clinic’s target patient population is those with complex anticoagulation needs (dose initiation/stabilization, peri-operative bridging, etc). Once warfarin dosing has been stabilized and clients are educated about their role in maintaining a therapeutic INR, anticoagulation care is transferred back to the patient’s family physician.

CAAC has several patients who either don’t have a family physician or their family physician prefers not to manage their warfarin. CAAC does not have the resources to keep patients admitted long term and is currently running over capacity.

CAAC has identified community pharmacists with additional prescribing authority and the knowledge and ability to manage anticoagulation as healthcare providers who are well suited to provide chronic anticoagulation management services. If you are interested in playing a role, please contact:
 

Lisa Johnson (CAAC pharmacist)

Email: lisa.johnson5@albertahealthservices.ca

Phone: 403-406-5502

More materials for Pharmacy Awareness Month
March 4, 2014

You may call it Pharmacy or Pharmacist Awareness, or declare it Awareness Week or Month, but there’s one thing everyone can agree on – it’s time to celebrate the great work that’s happening in pharmacy and let the public know how you can help them.

To get you started, the Pharmacy Technician Society of Alberta is offering a free promo package. Contact them at PTSA PAM Package. You can also access CPhA’s information and resources, CSHP’s materials, and ACP’s health journals and video.

MedRec program, materials rolling out across province
March 4, 2014

AHS is part way through a four year implementation plan to have MedRec processes in all AHS care settings by the end of 2015. They are taking a phased approach, beginning with MedRec at admission and expanding to include MedRec at transfer and discharge. The goal is to incorporate MedRec processes into everyday practice to enhance patient safety.

AHS is now launching an awareness campaign for both healthcare providers and public audiences. The campaign will be launched in stages. Starter packages of the public awareness materials will be sent to all community pharmacies and doctor’s offices in the province.

Every Albertan with health issues typically interacts with multiple healthcare providers, and each provider may have some, but not all, of the information about the medications the person is taking. Medication-related decisions still need to be made, and medication advice is still required, with whatever information is available. Medication Reconciliation (MedRec) works to address these gaps. This is the motivation driving the implementation of MedRec processes throughout Alberta Health Services (AHS).

MedRec is a structured process in which healthcare providers work together with patients, families and caregivers to ensure accurate and comprehensive medication information is communicated consistently across transitions of care. The use of MedRec can reduce medication errors and adverse events.1, 2, 3

To be of most benefit, MedRec should occur in all settings, including primary care and in healthcare facilities. Pharmacists are well positioned to take an active and leading role in helping patients understand their medications and the patient’s role in maintaining an up-to-date list of their medications.2 The MedRec process supports the pharmacists’ role in patient safety by ensuring the availability of complete and accurate information.

The public awareness campaign instils in each patient the sense of shared ownership for their medication information during healthcare interactions. The MedRec provider and public awareness campaign was developed through extensive consultations with key stakeholders both within and external to AHS, including the Health Quality Council of Alberta. The MedRec awareness campaign will be ongoing and will sustain promotion of MedRec in the long term.

Please let AHS know if you would like to receive any of the AHS provider and public awareness materials by emailing medrec@albertahealthservices.ca. To have a look for yourself please go to: www.albertahealthservices.ca/medlist 

1. Boockvar, K., LaCorte, H., Giambanco, V., Fridman, B., & Siu, A. (2006). Medication reconciliation for reducing drug-discrepancy adverse events. The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, 4 (3), 236-243.

2. Murphy, E., Oxencis, C., Klauck, J., Meyer, D., & Zimmerman, J. (2009). Medication reconciliation at an academic medical center: Implementation of a comprehensive program from admission to discharge. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 66 (23), 2126-2131.

3. Pronovost, P., Weast, B., Schwarz, M., Wyskiel, R., Prow, D., Milanovich, S., et al. (2003). Medication Reconciliation: a practical tool to reduce the risk of medication errors. Journal of Critical Care, 18 (4), 201-205.

Council elections open March 14
March 4, 2014

Voting will open at 8 a.m. on March 14 for council positions in District 4 (central Alberta), District 5 (Calgary), and for an elected pharmacy technician in southern Alberta. All voting will be online, at http://pharmacists.ab.ca/vote2014. Voting will close April 10 at 4:30 p.m.

Congratulations to Clayton Braun who was awarded his second term in District 2 (southern Alberta) by acclamation.

A biographical sketch of each candidate will be posted on the election site, so voters can learn about each candidate to make a more informed decision when casting their ballot. All candidates will also have the opportunity to have ACP send two emails on their behalf to voters in their district. Watch your inbox for those messages.

Eligible members in election districts will receive voting instructions by email at the email address they have registered with ACP.

Get ready for Pharmacist Awareness Month
February 18, 2014

March is Pharmacist Awareness Month. Let your patients know what you can do for them. The Canadian Pharmacists Association hasinformation and resources to help you get the word out.

And don’t forget to stock up on health journals and share our video to help Albertans see pharmacists are doing much more than counting pills.

New look and formatting for Alberta Netcare Portal
February 18, 2014

On Feb. 27, updates will be made to Alberta Netcare Portal to improve the look and enhance usability of the system.

Some ofthe changes include:

  • Updated Worklist format: users will be able to add any number of patients to their worklists. This enhancement is a response to numerous requests from the user community.
  • New colours: the framework will be gray instead of blue. The layout will be updated to enhance the readability.
  • New icons: for the menu, shortcuts and worklists
  • New date format: for the clinical document viewer
  • Transcribed Report History: users in the Calgary zone will be able to compare an updated transcribed report with earlier versions and note the changes that were made. The updates can include additional information, changes to clinical findings or recommendations, cancellation of the report, or no discernible change.

For a preview, please view the information sheet Why do these screens look different? on the Alberta Netcare website.

All of the important updates and outages for Alberta Netcare are available to current users by email. If you are not getting these updates, please update your email information in the "My Details" section in Alberta Netcare Portal next time you're logged in.

Nurse Practitioners beginning to prescribe narcotics, controlled drugs
February 18, 2014

CARNA is beginning to authorize nurse practitioners to prescribe narcotics and controlled drugs and substances. The nurse practitioner prescriber list on the ACP website now indicates NPs with this new authorization.

To beauthorized to prescribe controlled drugs and substances, Alberta NPs must:

  1. Complete a prescribing course recognized by CARNA.
  2. Complete the CARNA controlled drugs and substances jurisprudence module. 

Currently, the only approved education course is Prescription and Management of Controlled Drugs and Substances offered through Athabasca University. 

What can NPs prescribe?

Narcotics            

Only nurse practitioners who have met the requirements set out by the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) have the authority to prescribe narcotics in Alberta.

Please note, nurse practitioners are prohibited from prescribing methadone or buprenorphine. 

Controlled

substances

Only nurse practitioners who have met the requirements set out by CARNA have the authority to prescribe controlled drugs in Alberta. .

According to the New Classes of Practitioners Regulations, other than testosterone, nurse practitioners are prohibited from prescribing any other anabolic steroid.

Benzodiazepines/Other targeted substances

Only nurse practitioners who have met the requirements set out by CARNA have the authority to prescribe benzodiazepines and targeted substances in Alberta.

 

Prescription drugs

 

 

Nurse practitioners may prescribe drugs on the Prescription Drug List.

Summer student employment opportunity: program research assistant
February 14, 2014
The Alberta College of Pharmacists is seeking a program research assistant for a full-time (37.5 hr/week) temporary position during the summer of 2014.
 
Reporting to the Professional Practice Director, the student will help review, update and develop documents and programs to assist pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in learning and working with the legislation, Code of Ethics and standards that apply to their practices.
 
For more information and to apply, please see the complete employment posting.
Pharmacist Awareness Month material now available
February 4, 2014

March is Pharmacist Awareness Month. Are you ready to let your patients know what you can do for them? The Canadian Pharmacists Association has information and resources to help you get the word out.

And don’t forget to stock up on health journals and share our video to help Albertans see pharmacists are doing much more than counting pills.

PEBC assessors needed
February 4, 2014
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) needs pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to be assessors for upcoming PEBC Qualifying Examinations – Part II (OSCE and PhT-OSPE) in Edmonton and Calgary. See their invitation letter for dates and details.
Pharmacy technicians may accept verbal orders for Schedule 1 drugs, but not narcotics or controlled substances
February 4, 2014

The Food and Drug Regulations were amended, effective Dec. 31, 2013, to recognize pharmacy technicians and allow them to accept verbal prescriptions for Schedule 1 drugs.

These amendments apply to the Food and Drug Regulations only. Therefore, pharmacy technicians may still not accept verbal orders for narcotics or controlled drugs or substances.

Despite further amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations that would allow pharmacy technicians to transfer prescriptions, Alberta pharmacy technicians must still comply with Standard 20.9 of ACP’s Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians. In other words, a pharmacy technician may, "only transfer prescriptions when directed to do so by the pharmacist that they are assisting."

 

ACP will review its standards following the release of national standards from the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, which are expected later this year.

 

References

Definition of pharmacy technician:

The amended regulations define a “pharmacy technician” as a person who is registered or otherwise entitled under the laws of a province to practise as a pharmacy technician; and is practising as a pharmacy technician in that province.

 

Food and Drug Regulations

  • Section C.01.041(2) was amended to allow a pharmacy technician to accept a verbal order. It outlines expectations for the creation of a written copy of the order, as has been required of pharmacists in the past.
     
  • Amended section C.01.041.3 outlines the requirements of a pharmacy technician who transfers a prescription. These mirror the requirements that were expected of a pharmacist in the previous regulations.

ACP Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians 
Verbal order to be reduced to writing
6.8 If a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician receives a verbal order for a drug or blood product from a prescriber, the pharmacist or the pharmacy technician must reduce the prescription to writing and sign or initial the prescription.

Transfer of prescriptions by pharmacy technicians
20.9 Pharmacy technicians who assist a pharmacist in the transfer of a prescription to another pharmacist must:

a) only transfer prescriptions when directed to do so by the pharmacist that they are assisting;
b) confirm that the prescription may be legally transferred;
c) provide to the receiving pharmacist:

i. a copy of the prescription as written by the prescriber or as reduced to writing in the case of verbal prescriptions;
ii. the number of authorized refills remaining;
iii. the date of the last refill;
iv. the name and address of the pharmacist that is transferring the prescription; and
v. any other information that the transferring pharmacist deemed necessary under Standard 2.9(b);and

d) render the prescription inactive to ensure that no further sales are made under the prescription and the prescription is not transferred to another pharmacist;
e) document that the prescription has been transferred in the patient record including:

i. the name and location of the pharmacist to whom the prescription was transferred;
ii. the name of the pharmacist transferring the prescription; and
iii. the name of the pharmacy technician assisting the pharmacist with the transfer.

 
Message from the President
February 4, 2014

Council elections are quickly approaching! Participating in your college as a member of council is a tremendous opportunity to provide leadership and set direction for the future of the pharmacy profession. I encourage anyone who has a strong passion for pharmacy practice and a willingness to lead to consider letting their name stand for nomination to council.

Council, at times, is faced with contentious issues that require consideration of differing points of view. It is important when letting your name stand to do it with the larger overall purpose of moving the profession forward to improve the health of Albertans; not because you wish to address a particular issue that is of significant importance to you personally. The three-year commitment lends itself to tackling multiple complex and diverse issues.

Being a council member is truly a privilege and unique opportunity to affect visionary pharmacy practice change on a provincial level and leadership to the profession at a national level. Are you the person you’ve been waiting for?

Nominations must arrive at the college office by 4:30 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 28, 2014.

Resources

Nomination information letter

Nomination form

ACP bylaws (election process covered in points 17 to 27)

Council responsibilities

Councillor code of conduct

Call for nominations - council elections
January 30, 2014

ACP will be holding council elections for four positions this spring:

  • District 2 (Southern Alberta)  
  • District 4 (Central Alberta)
  • District 5 (Calgary)
  • Pharmacy Technician (District B, Southern Alberta)

Who can be a candidate?

You are an ideal candidate if you:

  • are motivated to advance public safety;
  • want a hands-on role in advancing pharmacy practice in Alberta;
  • model safe, effective, responsible practice;
  • have demonstrated leadership skills; and
  • are able to commit 12 to 15 days per year over a three-year term.

Nominations must arrive at the college office by 4:30 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 28, 2014.

Resources

 

Schedule change for bisacodyl 5 mg tablets and 10 mg suppositories
January 24, 2014

Effective January 21, 2014:

  • Bisacodyl - when sold in concentrations of 5 mg or less per oral dosage unit or 10 mg or less per rectal dosage unit/suppository, in package sizes containing no more than 50 mg of bisacodyl -  Unscheduled status (from Schedule III)
     
  • Bisacodyl and its salts [except when sold in concentrations of 5 mg or less per oral dosage unit or 10 mg or less per rectal dosage unit/suppository in package sizes containing no more than 50 mg of bisacodyl]  - remains in Schedule III

 

Prescription drug misuse survey
January 21, 2014

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) is conducting a study investigating Alberta healthcare professionals' perceptions of prescription drug misuse.

Take the survey

For every survey completed, CCSA will donate $10.00 to the Red Cross Alberta Flood Relief.

eHealth campaign coming: answers to your patients' questions
January 21, 2014

In February, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services will launch a campaign to raise public awareness about Alberta Netcare and MyHealth.Alberta. To help you answer your patient questions, they have created three resources.

1. Information collection and protection

The campaign is designed to make sure that Albertans understand how their health information is collected and protected, and that in the future they will have access to some of their Alberta Netcare information through MyHealth.Alberta.ca.

The campaign will start with a focus on Alberta Netcare, explaining that it is the tool that clinicians use to access their key health information. It will outline their rights as a patient to know who is viewing their health records, and the right to access those health records if they wish.

2. MyHealth.Alberta.ca features

The second part of the campaign will focus on MyHealth.Alberta.ca, both its current offering and future state. It hosts thousands of pages of reliable health information and a number of tools that can help patients make educated decisions about their health care.

In late 2014, a Personal Health Record (PHR) will be added to MyHealth.Alberta.ca which will serve as Albertans’ portal into their provincial health records. The first information pieces that will be available through PHR are a medication profile (drugs dispensed in community pharmacies) and a patient summary which could include hospital visits, surgeries, and other health highlights available in Alberta Netcare. The PHR will also enable uploads from health and wellness monitoring devices like blood pressure monitors and fitness bracelet devices.

Resources for patient questions

Once the advertising is out, your patients may come to you with questions. To support you, AH and AHS are developing:

  1. a webpage for Albertans to visit dedicated to the campaign and helping them understand how eHealth will support their health care,
  2. a webpage for healthcare providers dedicated to the campaign and providing resources to answer questions that Albertans might ask you, and
  3. an information pamphlet that you can either print or request copies from Alberta Health free of charge.

For more information please visit: www.MyHealth.Alberta.ca/eHealthforproviders or contact PHP@gov.ab.ca

7 tips for additional prescribing authorization applications
January 21, 2014

Submitting your application for additional prescribing authorization? Read these tips first to make sure you avoid some common pitfalls.

  1. Include documentation in the patient care record. The narrative is valuable to assessors, but it is NOT part of the patient record. The sole purpose of the narrative is to guide the assessor through the actual documentation you provide.

    As outlined in the Case Checklist, assessors are looking for care plan and monitoring plan information in the actual patient record - the actual record of care. This may be paper-based or electronic, but must be authentic. In other words, it must be created at or near the time you provided the care; not created for the purpose of the application. 
     
  2. Document at the same time you provide care. Assessors are noticing that in some applications, documentation appears to be done weeks, even months, after the actual event. While this alone is not an automatic reason for an applicant to be unsuccessful, it may contribute. If you did not document when the event happened, it’s best to find another case where you documented the care in a timely manner. 
     
  3. Take responsibility for decisions about drug therapy problems. Assessors note that many applicants identify drug therapy problems (DTPs) and communicate them to the physician for the physician to assess and decide how to proceed.  Assessors are looking for you to complete a thorough assessment and develop a care plan. They are gauging your ability to assess the patient, develop a care plan (i.e., prescribe, monitor, and follow up), collaborate with other health care providers, and document your actions. Asking the physician what to do about a DTP is not indicative of collaborative prescribing; making a suggestion with a strong rationale and plan for the physician to consider is.
     
  4. Demonstrate all the key activities for pharmacist prescribing in your cases. For example, a case where a pharmacist makes an adaptation to another dosage form or changes the medication due to coverage issues may not be a good demonstration of assessment and often no care planning or follow up is demonstrated. Assessors are looking for the pharmacist to complete a full assessment, make a decision, and complete follow up.
     
  5. Show that you have completed a holistic patient assessment. This means that all medications should be assessed, at minimum, for efficacy, proper dosing, and indication. For example, even if the drug therapy problem is a lack of medication for preventing shingles, assessors expect that you will review all of the patient’s medications at the time of assessment. If this is not shown, and assessors note other potential problems, then they may be left to wonder whether you identified the issue or not, and if or when you plan to address it. 
     
  6. In your follow up plans, document who will be responsible for completing the follow up. In many instances, this will be a combination of you and the physician, and/or others, such as nurses. Do not imply; state the information directly in the care plan.
     
  7. Complete and document some of the follow up before submitting your application. Many applicants have included a monitoring plan, but submitted their application before the plan is carried out. As outlined in the Case Checklist, assessors will be looking in your documentation for implementation of the follow up. This may mean delaying your application submission, but will increase your chances of success.
4 new tools to help you Chat, Check, and Chart
January 21, 2014

You asked, and here they are: four new tools to guide you through the Chat, Check, and Chart (CCC) process!

These tools contain:

  • a helpful introduction to CCC,
  • tips and sample scripts on “Chatting,”
  • a checklist to assist you with “Checking,” and
  • some examples to help you “Chart.”

View and download the CCC tools on our website under Practice Resources/Info Sheets & Posters.

Lethal consequences to recreational use of bupropion (Wellbutrin®; Zyban®)
January 21, 2014

A public safety risk appears to be emerging. Ontario’s Chief Coroner has reports of at least six cases in which the recreational use of bupropion by inhalation or injection was a causative factor in the death. Bupropion abuse is also being observed in Alberta.

Pharmacists should be aware of the potential for recreational use of bupropion via inhalation or injection when considering prescribing and/or dispensing this medication, and when treating patients presenting with complications of use via these atypical routes.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin®; Zyban®) is an antidepressant and is used to treat a variety of conditions including depression, other mental/mood disorders and smoking cessation.

Brand names in Canada:

  • Ava-Bupropion SR;
  • Bupropion SR;
  • Mylan-Bupropion XL;
  • Novo-Bupropion SR;
  • PMS-Bupropion SR;
  • ratio-Bupropion SR;
  • Sandoz-Bupropion SR;
  • Wellbutrin SR;
  • Wellbutrin XL;
  • Zyban

Injecting bupropion can cause damage at the injection site including tissue damage, skin abscesses, collapsed veins, and clogged arteries.

To learn more about this subject, copy the link below to your browser to launch the Emergency Medicine rounds presentation created by Dr. James Truong, North Bay Regional Health Centre, North Bay, Ont. (Caution: graphic content)

Outpatient Cancer Drug Benefit Program reminder
January 7, 2014

Reminder to community pharmacies:

Most medications used in the direct treatment of cancer are provided to eligible Alberta patients at no cost through the Outpatient Cancer Drug Benefit Program.

In order for patients to receive the medications at no cost, the medications must be obtained from an Alberta Health Services Cancer Services pharmacy. There is no mechanism for reimbursement or billing to Alberta Health Services after the prescription has been filled.

If a patient presents a prescription for cancer treatment medications at a community pharmacy, the pharmacist should determine whether the patient should be referred to a Cancer Services pharmacy:

Cross Cancer Institute
11560 University Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 1Z2
Telephone: 780-432-8771 (Switchboard)

Tom Baker Cancer Centre
1331 29 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 4N2
Telephone: 403-521-3723 (Switchboard)

Central Alberta Cancer Centre
3942 50A Avenue, Red Deer, Alberta, T4N 4E7
Telephone: 403-343-4526 (Switchboard)

Grande Prairie Cancer Centre
10409 98 Street, Grande Prairie, Alberta, T8V 2E8
Telephone: 780-538-7588 (Switchboard)

Jack Ady Cancer Centre
960 19 Street S, Lethbridge, Alberta, T1J 1W5
Telephone: 403-388-6200 switchboard

Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre
666 5 Street SW, Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 4H6
Telephone: 403-529-8817

To determine if a patient is eligible and/or whether the medication is included in the program, pharmacists can refer to the Outpatient Cancer Drug Benefit List located on the ACP website.

The list changes regularly; therefore, please refer to the list online rather than relying on printed copies that may be out of date.

Two ways to recognize outstanding U of A Alumni
January 7, 2014
  1. The University of Alberta Alumni Association is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Alumni Recognition Awards. See award categories, criteria and nomination forms online. Nomination deadline: February 11, 2014.
     
  2. In celebration of its centenary and to better recognize accomplished graduates, the U of A Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has established an annual Outstanding Pharmacy Alumnus Award. They are now calling for nominations.
Red Deer College needs pharmacist volunteers
January 7, 2014

Red Deer College is looking for pharmacists to be part of the advisory committee for the college’s Pharmacy Technician Program.

This volunteer (unpaid) position would require that the individual attend and participate in 2-3 meetings a year. The selected member(s) would be compensated for mileage if necessary and provided a supper meal. Meetings take place from approximately 6-9 p.m. in Red Deer.

 

If interested, please respond to:

Terri Granigan - Chairperson, Pharmacy Technician Program

terri.granigan@rdc.ab.ca

Phone number: 403-342-3169

Healthy resolutions for the New Year
January 7, 2014

It’s a new year and a time to change up routines and try new things. Looking for inspiration?

After looking at the results of our latest public and registrant surveys, and talking to practitioners and patients over the last year, two things become clear.

  1. Pharmacists can do a much better job and patients can better participate in self-care when they are clear what a medication is being used for.
     
  2. Follow up is something patients want more of, and it’s a great way for pharmacists to reinforce the important role they play in a patient’s health.

So, if you are not already doing so, how about resolving to:

  • Ask for and document indication – Saying, “This medication has many uses. What did your prescriber tell you your medication is for?” will help you determine appropriateness, uncover potential drug therapy problems to look for, and indicate what patient counselling is required. It’s the first prime question in the Chat, Check and Chart method for a reason! Don’t assume that you already know the answer and be conscious of how you phrase the question.
     
  • Follow up – Asking how the medication is working and what effects a patient has had will help you determine compliance, effectiveness, and the need for further communication with the patient and/or the prescriber. It also reinforces the key role you play as a health professional and builds trust and respect with your patients.
Compliance with OHS sharps requirements is mandatory
January 7, 2014

Prevent needle-stick injuries this flu season. Adhere to the standards outlined in Sections 525 to 529 of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code – they apply to both pharmacists and their employers.

Pharmacies handling sharps should use only safety-engineered needles and must have procedures that deal with:

  • The hazards associated with the use and disposal of medical sharps;
  • The proper use and disposal of medical sharps;
  • Procedures to eliminate accidental contact with medical sharps; and
  • Post-exposure management of workers (OHS Code 530).

Additional information on specific OHS requirements and post-exposure management of injuries is available in the following resources:

  1. Alberta Guidelines for Non-Occupation, Occupational and Mandatory Testing and Disclosure Act Post-Exposure Management and Prophylaxis (January 2013)
  2. www.worksafely.org
  3. Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation, and Code
  4. OHS Code Explanation Guide
  5. Best Practices for the Assessment and Control of Biological Hazards