For The Public

What is the Role of the Board?

The mission of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board (NLPB) is to protect the people of the province by governing the profession of pharmacy to ensure quality and ethical care.

To fulfill its obligation of public protection, NLPB:

  • registers pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, students and interns, and licenses pharmacies;
  • establishes and maintains a quality assurance program to promote high standards for the practice of pharmacy;
  • develops standards, guidelines and policies for the practice of pharmacy; and
  • responds to and manages complaints and discipline relating to the practice of pharmacy.

What to Expect from Your Pharmacist

An essential part of every pharmacist’s role is to help you understand your medication.

Every time you have your prescription filled, your pharmacist ensures that:

  • the information provided by your doctor, dentist, or other health-care provider is complete;
  • the medication, strength, and dosage instructions are appropriate for you and your health condition;
  • the new medication is okay to take with other medications you may already be taking;
  • there are no potential problems such as duplicate therapy or drug interactions; and
  • your medications are working for you and you are not experiencing any problems.

Your pharmacist will also provide counseling on the medication and will confirm/explain:

  • what the medication is for;
  • the instructions for proper use of the medication;
  • what to expect from the medication and how soon to expect the medication to work;
  • what to do if you miss a dose;
  • how to store the medication;
  • any common side effects or interactions, what to expect and how to address them, if needed; and
  • review any prescription refill information.

Tell your pharmacist about any non-prescription drugs you are taking. Many over-the-counter products including natural health products and herbal supplements may interact with your medication.

Your pharmacist can also offer suggestions on lifestyle and other non-drug measures.

You should also be sure to tell the pharmacist about any allergies you have.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to look after your own health. Taking your medication properly is an important part of taking care of yourself. By working with your pharmacist, you can be sure you take your medication safely, effectively, and appropriately to maintain your good health.

What to Ask Your Pharmacist

Do you want to know how to ease hot flashes? Do you suffer from a chronic condition such as asthma, arthritis, or diabetes? Your pharmacist can work with you and your doctor to make sure you choose the best medications to look after your health. Studies have shown that half of all Canadians do not take their prescription medications exactly as prescribed. Every year thousands of people are admitted into hospitals because they did not follow the instructions on their medication container. Do not leave the pharmacy or hospital until you fully understand how to use your medication properly.

Not sure what to ask your pharmacist? Here is a list of questions you can consider:

  • Why am I taking this medication?
  • How and when should I take this medication?
  • Is “four times a day” the same as “every six hours”?
  • Do I have to wake up during the night to take my medication?
  • Am I supposed to swallow my medicine with food or water?
  • Is there anything I should or should not eat or drink while I am taking this medication?
  • What should I do if I miss my dose, or take two doses close together?
  • How will I know if this medication is working?
  • How will I remember to take my medicine?
  • I have allergies – is it safe for me to take this medication?
  • Are there any side effects I should watch for? Will it make me sleepy?
  • Will my medication interact with other drugs?
  • Can I drink alcohol while I am taking this medication?
  • Will it be affected by over-the-counter medications like painkillers or antacids?
  • Will it be affected by vitamins or herbal supplements?
  • Can I take this medication if I am pregnant or breast-feeding?
  • When will I feel better?
  • If I feel better can I stop taking it?
  • When should I see my doctor?
  • Can I get my medication in a container that is easier to open?
  • Where should I keep my medication?

If You Have a Concern

First, try talking to your practitioner or the pharmacy manager about your concerns with the pharmacy care you received. Sometimes problems occur because there has been a misunderstanding. Having a discussion will often resolve your questions and concerns.

If you feel your concerns have not been adequately addressed, see our page, Complaints & Discipline Overview for additional guidance.

©2020 Newfoundland & Labrador Pharmacy Board