Issue #1 – August 2014
Welcome to NLPB’s e-news premiere!
Our new e-newsletter, The PostScript, is your official resource for important news and updates from the Board. It will help ensure that you receive the information you need in a timely manner between issues of the Apothecary.
The PostScript is an official method of notification to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians registered with the NLPB. NLPB newsletters serve as proof of notification. Please read them carefully and stay subscribed to ensure you receive ongoing and up-to-date information that is relevant to your practice. You may access archived issues of The PostScript on the NLPB Newsletters page of the Board’s website.
Documentation of Injection Education Program on Learning Portfolio
Now that pharmacists have begun completing education programs on the administration of injections, we have received questions on how to appropriately document this learning on the online Learning Portfolio.
In order to minimize the amount of documentation needed, while still including all necessary information, we are advising the following strategy:
- Rather than listing all the Learning Objectives for the program, we suggest summarizing them into 5 or 6 “high level” Learning Objectives that describe what you set out to learn by completing this program. For example: “Understand the rationale and background for immunization” and “Demonstrate understanding of the proper storage, handing and transport of vaccinations”.
- For Take Home Messages, since this information should describe what you actually learned from the program, your messages should reflect the Learning Objectives set out above. For example, “Because vaccines are sensitive biological products, maintaining and monitoring the proper storage and transportation temperature is very important.”
- The last section of the record should indicate whether or not the learning was relevant to your practice and, if so, how you intend to integrate this information into your practice.
Hopefully this information will help you complete the education necessary to participate in this exciting new scope of practice. If you need any further help in this area, please contact Melanie at the NLPB Office.
Not all registered optometrists in NL have limited prescriptive authority. The Optometry Board has supplied NLPB with an updated list of registered optometrists in NL who have a Therapeutic Drug Certificate (http://nlpb.ca/media/Optometrists-with-prescriptive-authority-June-2014.pdf) An optometrist who holds a therapeutic drug certificate may administer and prescribe the following pharmaceutical agents for the diagnosis and treatment of ocular anterior segment disorders as outlined in the regulations (http://www.assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/Regulations/rc120090.htm#3_:)
- topical local ophthalmic anaesthetics
- topical ophthalmic non-steroidal anti-allergy medications
- topical ophthalmic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- topical ophthalmic anti-infective medications
- topical ocular corticosteroids
- topical ocular anti-infective corticosteroid combinations
Issue #2 – September 2014
Pharmacists in Charge are reminded that prior to commencing renovations to the dispensary, they are responsible for completing and submitting an Application for Renovation of an Existing Pharmacy/Dispensary at least 15 days in advance of the renovation date. Included with the application should be a detailed diagram of the proposed dispensary and the appropriate fee. A site assessment may be required. A pre-opening self-assessment of the renovated pharmacy/dispensary must be completed by the Pharmacist-in-Charge and submitted to the Board prior to the site assessment. Please see the NLPB Requirements for Renovating an Existing Pharmacy/Dispensary, on the Licensing Information for Pharmacies page for more information.
Tip: Remember to advise the NLCHI Pharmacy Network of the renovation to ensure continuous connectivity.
Filling Prescriptions from Out of Province Prescribers
We often get questions from pharmacists regarding whether or not they can legally fill a prescription written by a prescriber licensed in another province of Canada.
Generally-speaking, the answer to this question is usually “yes”. In accordance with section 26. of the Pharmacy Act, prescriptions written by prescribers licensed and practicing in another province are eligible to be filled in this province.
Having said that, there are a few conditions to consider. First, it depends on the type of prescriber and whether or not that person would have prescribing authority if they were licensed in Newfoundland and Labrador. At this time, in Newfoundland and Labrador, physicians, dentists, veterinarians, nurse practitioners and optometrists all have varying authority to prescribe. An out-of-province prescriber would have to belong to one of these groups for their prescription to be valid in this province. For example, a prescription from a dentist would be valid; a prescription from a chiropractor would not.
Second to this would be what the prescription is for. If the prescription is for a narcotic or controlled drug covered by the Tamper Resistant Prescription Drug Pad Program, then the prescription MUST be written on the appropriate tamper resistant pad, regardless of whether or not the prescriber is licensed in NL. For more information on this program, visit the Department of Health and Community Services website at: http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/prescription/hcp_tamperresistantdrugpad.html
Pharmacists are also reminded that the onus is on them to verify the authenticity of any and all prescriptions and if he or she is ever in doubt as to the validity of the prescription or the licensing status of the prescriber, he or she should follow up with the prescriber directly and/or contact the relevant licensing authority.
Issue #3 – October 2014
New Code of Ethics for Registrants approved by the Board
In February of this year, the Board approved a plan to review and revise the existing Code of Ethics for Pharmacists with the goal of modernizing the document, capturing newer concepts and making the Code applicable to all registrants, including pharmacy technicians. The draft revised document was circulated for consultation during the summer. Subsequently, a revised Code of Ethics for all registrants of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board was approved during the August 2014 Board Meeting and launched during the Board’s Annual General Meeting, September 21, 2014. The Ethical Principles remain primarily unchanged, however, in some instances, the Guidelines for Application have been modernized and augmented.
All registrants are reminded that the Code of Ethics is the foundation for professional behaviour, actions and attitudes and reflects what the pharmacy profession stands for. The Code of Ethics supports the Board in fulfilling its mandate to protect the public and enables the NLPB to provide direction to registrants faced with ethical dilemmas.
Each registrant will be receiving a copy of the new Code of Ethics in the mail in the near future. To view an electronic copy of the Code, visit the Standards, Guidelines and Policies page of the website or click the following link: Code of Ethics.
New Standards for the Safe and Effective Provision of Medication for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence approved by the Board
At the August 29, 2014 meeting of the Board, new Standards for the Safe and Effective Provision of Medication for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence were approved to come into force in January 1, 2015. These Standards will replace the previous Standard of Pharmacy Practice regarding the NL Methadone Maintenance Program and the Guidelines for Dispensing Buprenorphine for the Management of Opioid Dependence.
Key highlights of these new Standards include:
- An authorization process for pharmacists involved in the treatment of opioid dependence including the completion of a mandatory educational program
- Changes to the requirements for pharmacies where medications for the treatment of opioid dependence are provided including the use of an area of the pharmacy that is visually and acoustically private
- The move to exclusively using a standardized, commercially available methadone product for dilution (such as Methadose®) instead of compounding stock solution
- An overall alignment with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of NL Methadone Maintenance Treatment Standards & Guidelines
When approving these Standards, the Board recognized that, in the best interest of patient safety, a transition period was required to allow pharmacists and pharmacies currently providing this service to align their practice and site with the new Standards. As such, the following timeline will be implemented:
- Standards in force – January 1, 2015
- For those not already treating patients, adherence to the Standard is required upon application.
- For those already treating patients:
- Full transition to Methadose® – by February 1, 2015
- Completion of required education program – by November 30, 2015 (with registration renewal)
- Completion of necessary physical changes – by November 30, 2015 (with license renewal) – unless specific exemption has been given by the Board
To view the Standards in their entirety, visit the Standards, Guidelines and Policies page of the website.
Issue #4 – November 2014
2015 Annual Registration Renewals are now open for Pharmacists and Pharmacists in Charge. Below are some answers to commonly-asked questions registrants often have at this time of year.
- Yes, you can. While pharmacists are encouraged to obtain professional development from a variety of sources, this is not mandatory. If you have completed one course or program that fulfills the full requirement, that is fine.
- There is an overview of how to document your service as a preceptor posted on the Professional Development page of the NLPB website. Please see this document for more information.
- If your status is lapsed or inactive, contact Aileen or Meghan at the Board to renew and change your status back to active.
- Simply send your name, email and address to firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name added to the Non-Practicing/Retired Pharmacists’ list. There is no annual fee.
- Click Registrant Login. Under “Forgot your Username/password, enter the email address associated with your profile. Your login information will be emailed to you shortly.
- Nothing; once it is entered in the system no further action is required. After it is entered, you may renew your registration.
- As Pharmacist in Charge, you have two unique logins, one for yourself as a pharmacist and one for the pharmacy profile. Please make sure you are using the appropriate login information. If you have forgotten your username and password, see above for instructions.
- In accordance with the Professional Development Requirements for Registration, new graduates can claim 15 CEUs for completion of Parts I and II of the PEBC Qualifying Exam. You would enter this on your Learning Portfolio Record as:
- Program Title: PEBC Qualifying Exam, Parts I and II
- Provider: PEBC
- Speaker/Author: N/A
- Program Approved By: Select “Other” and type PEBC in the blank field
- Number of CEU’s Accredited: 15
- For all of the Learning Objectives: Type N/A
Can I claim injection training that was accredited for 15 CEU’s as my full amount of CPD?
If I want to self-assign CEs for my service as a Preceptor, how do I document this in my Learning Portfolio?
How do I renew after maternity or other leave? My status says “lapsed”.
I heard Non-Practicing pharmacists don’t have to renew this year. What do I do?
I forgot my user name and/or password. How do I recover it?
I have my Learning Portfolio entered in the online system. What do I do now to submit my CE’s
I am a Pharmacist in Charge. Why isn’t my login working?
I am a new graduate who registered this year. What do I need to document in my online Learning Portfolio Record?
Starting in 2015, Board-approved preceptor training will be required for pharmacists applying to be preceptors to students and interns who are undertaking Structured Practical Training and/or board weeks.
In partnership with MUN School of Pharmacy, the Board has endorsed the online preceptor training modules found at http://www.mun.ca/pharmacy/community/spe/preceptorcriteria.php.
Especially of note at this time of year, the Dalhousie program is accredited for CEs and may be used toward your annual Professional Development requirement.
We encourage all pharmacists to consider supporting the development of the profession by helping shape the next generation of pharmacists.
Issue #5 – December 2014
Over 100 Pharmacists Authorized to Provide Inhalations and Injections!
With the flu season currently in full force community pharmacists from across the province continue to step up and receive their authorization to administer inhalations and injections. There are now over 100 pharmacists authorized to administer the influenza vaccine to their patients. This is a great example of adding capacity to the healthcare system by providing patients with additional access and choice. For information on the requirements for authorization, please see the NLPB’s Standards for the Safe and Effective Administration of Drug Therapy by Inhalation or Injection, available on the Standards, Guidelines and Policies page of the NLPB website.
“Pharmacy Technician” – A Restricted Title
In accordance with the recent changes to the Pharmacy Act and Regulations, pharmacists-in-charge are reminded that the title “pharmacy technician” is restricted and protected under legislation. Only pharmacy technicians that are registered with NLPB may use the title “pharmacy technician” or the designation “R.Pt.”. Other unregulated support staff may be called “pharmacy assistants” or another title.
Each year during registration renewal, pharmacists are asked to respond to a number of self-declared statements to affirm their compliance. In accordance with the Board’s mandate to provide assurance to the public that pharmacy practitioners are upholding their ethical and legal obligations for registration, the Board will begin auditing self-declarations in 2015.
In one of these declarations, pharmacists certify that they have worked a minimum of 420 hours in the last two calendar years and would be able to provide documentation if requested. Early in the New Year, the Board will notify a random selection of registrants to request that they submit documentation supporting this declaration.
NLCHI Pharmacy Network Update
The Centre for Health Information has developed a presentation that they would like to share with you and your staff. The presentation addresses some of the myths you may have heard about the Pharmacy Network, and also provides a view into how the Pharmacy Network integrates into your workflow and the Electronic Health Record. The NLCHI pharmacy team has just returned from sharing this information with pharmacies on the Northern Peninsula. Their next visits are scheduled for pharmacies on the west coast. If you would like to see this presentation and receive answers to any questions you may have regarding the Pharmacy Network, feel free to contract the Centre’s Service Desk at 1-877-752-6006 to arrange a visit.