2020 NLPB Election Results

As previously communicated, this year elections were held to elect registrants from Zones 5, 6, and 7 to the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board. The election process began with a “Call for Nominations” that was emailed to all registered pharmacists in Zones 5 and 7 and to all registered pharmacy technicians in Zone 6 on February 9, 2020.

  • Two nominations were received for Zone 5 – Brittany Churchill and Nicole MacDonald
  • One nomination was received for Zone 6 – Jillian Thorne
  • Three nominations were received for Zone 7 – Tim Buchanan, Taggarty Norris and Joan Roach

Voting commenced on June 2, 2020 and concluded on August 7, 2020.

The results of voting are as follows:

  • Elected from Zone 5 – Nicole MacDonald
  • Elected by acclamation from Zone 6 – Jillian Thorne
  • Elected from Zone 7 – Tim Buchanan and Taggarty Norris

We would like to welcome all new members to the board and give our thanks and well wishes to out-going board members, Brittany Churchill, Chad Parsons, and Colleen Squires.

To view the NLPB board for 2020-21 in its entirety, please visit the Board Members page of the website.

August NLPB Board Meeting Update

On August 14, 2020, the NLPB board met via video conferencing in order to meet the business requirements of the NLPB while still limiting travel and maintaining physical distancing measures.

At this meeting, the board approved revisions to both the NLPB Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians and the Standards of Practice regarding the Facsimile Transmission of Prescriptions and Personal Health Information as detailed below:

  • Code of Ethics – Following an internal and jurisdictional review, a number of the “Guidelines for Application” in the Code of Ethics have been either revised or relocated within the document. It is intended that these changes will fill a number of noted gaps as well as clarify sections that have been identified as confusing or ambiguous.
  • Standards of Practice regarding the Facsimile Transmission of Prescriptions and Personal Health Information – In addition to language throughout the document being revised for currency and relevancy to practice, the following two sections were also deleted:
    • The requirement that registrants confirm ALL faxed prescriptions for drugs subject to the Tamper Resistant Prescription Drug Pad Program; requiring instead that registrants use their professional judgement to authenticate and validate prescriptions as they determine is appropriate.
    • The requirement for “Signed certification that the prescription represents the original of the prescription, the addressee is the only intended recipient and there are no others, and the original prescription will be invalidated or retained so that it cannot be re-issued.”

Please visit the Standards, Guidelines, Policies, and Positions page of the website to view the revised documents.

Emerald Award Recipients

Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented NLPB from holding its awards ceremony this year. We are disappointed that we are not able to celebrate awards recipients in person but would like to take this opportunity to recognize the following registrants for reaching 35 years of registration with the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board:

Gary Batt Lorraine Finlayson Denise McGrath
M. Patricia Boddie Brian Griffiths Darrell Parsons
Lisa Boyd Keith Hogan Derrick Ryan
Keith Brown Derek Long Regina Staples
Gerald Burke Monica McCarthy Barbara Thomas

Thank you for your service to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and congratulations!

Sublocade: A New Option for Opioid Agonist Maintenance Treatment (OAMT)

Sublocade is a newer formulation of buprenorphine that is administered as a monthly injection into the abdomen. It is indicated for moderate to severe opioid use disorder and was recently approved for special authorization coverage under the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Plan (NLPDP). To support health professionals in providing access to this additional treatment option, the Provincial Opioid Dependence Treatment Centre of Excellence released a Sublocade Bulletin on July 17, 2020. It includes general information about Sublocade and its place in therapy, training requirements for various health professionals, NLPDP coverage criteria, drug distribution information, and various practice resources.

Please note that in order to dispense Sublocade, pharmacists MUST:

  • be authorized by NLPB to participate in OAMT;
  • be dispensing it from a pharmacy that is registered with NLPB to provide OAMT services; and
  • complete any education that is necessary to safely provide care to patients (e.g. the manufacturer-provided program available at http://www.sublocadecertification.ca/).

It is important for pharmacists to also be aware that Sublocade can only be purchased by pharmacies through a controlled distribution process established by the manufacturer and that, for safety reasons, pharmacists MUST dispense Sublocade directly to the prescriber or clinician authorized to administer the drug – i.e. the medication CANNOT be released to patients or their agents.

Section 56 Exemption Extended by Health Canada

Pharmacists are advised that Health Canada has extended the temporary Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) Section 56(1) exemption authorizing pharmacists to:

  • Prescribe controlled substances for continued therapy (within the framework of the NLPB Standards for Prescribing by Pharmacists.)
  • Transfer prescriptions for controlled substances to other pharmacists within NL (prescriptions for narcotics and controlled drugs cannot be transferred from or to another province).
  • Transfer prescriptions for benzodiazepines or targeted substances (“BZ/TS”) more than once.
  • Permit another appropriate individual to deliver prescriptions for controlled substances to patients, providing the documentation requirements outlined in the exemption are followed.

The original exemption, which expires on September 30, 2020, will now be extended until September 30, 2021, or until such time as it is replaced by another exemption or revoked.

Updates to the Provincial Drug Schedules

The following additions to the Provincial Drug Schedules (in relation to a new product coming on the market) have been approved by the board, effective August 13, 2020 to reflect the NDSAC recommendation of June 26, 2020, finalized on July 28, 2020:

  • “Acetaminophen and ibuprofen in oral, fixed-dose combinations, in package sizes containing either more than 20,000 mg of acetaminophen or more than 6,000 mg of ibuprofen” has been added to Schedule II.
  • “Acetaminophen and ibuprofen in oral, fixed-dose combinations, in package sizes containing 20,000 mg or less of acetaminophen and 6,000 mg or less of ibuprofen” has been added to Schedule III.

As follow up to our previous PostScript article regarding revisions to the Drug Schedules to reflect changes to NAPRA’s Natural Health Products (NHPs) policy, NAPRA has indicated that while it was originally intended for the entries in Schedule III related to ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to be removed as of January 2, 2021, at Health Canada’s request, these entries will now be removed on January 2, 2022, along with the entries for the remaining NHPs in Schedules I and II.

Please see the Provincial Drug Schedules page for more the full current Provincial Drug Schedules.

Health Canada Controlled Substances Bulletin

Please see the linked Controlled Substances Bulletin from Health Canada pertaining to the availability of a list of health care practitioners and pharmacists named in a notice of restriction. This filterable database lists licensed practitioners and pharmacists across Canada whose privileges respecting controlled substances have been restricted in accordance with the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and its associated regulations.

This e-newsletter contains information on a wide variety of topics intended to enhance the practice of pharmacy in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. As it is published and circulated to all registrants on a monthly basis, it is the expectation of NLPB that all registrants are aware of the matters contained therein.

©2020 Newfoundland & Labrador Pharmacy Board