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Compounding and repackaging pharmacies to cease serving pharmacies in British Columbia

June 12, 2017

Alberta pharmacies that hold a Compounding and Repackaging License are being asked not to provide services to pharmacies in British Columbia, pending further legal review of a Compounding and Repackaging Agreement between Alberta and BC.

In April, ACP Council approved, in principle, a model contract to facilitate compounding and repackaging services to be provided from Alberta to pharmacies licensed with the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC). However, CPBC responded that section 13.1 of their bylaws states: 

13. (1) A community pharmacy may outsource prescription processing if (a) all locations involved in the outsourcing are community pharmacies, (b) all prescriptions dispensed are labeled and include an identifiable code that provides a complete audit trail for the dispensed drug, and (c) a notice is posted informing patients that the preparation of their prescription may be outsourced to another pharmacy. (2) The manager of an outsourcing community pharmacy must ensure that all applicable standards of practice are met in processing prescriptions at all locations involved in the outsourcing. (3) In this section, “community pharmacy” includes a hospital pharmacy.

The reference to “community pharmacies” is limited by definition, to pharmacies licensed in British Columbia.  This means that pharmacies in BC cannot outsource prescription preparation functions to pharmacies in other jurisdictions, including Alberta.  

CPBC has requested further legal review of the model contract in context with their bylaw, to determine if a solution is possible to move this agreement forward.

“Our legal counsel has advised that distinct model agreements are required to support compounding and repackaging services delivered to other jurisdictions,” said Greg Eberhart, ACP Registrar. “Therefore, until CPBC finds a legal solution to accommodate the proposed contract—which is required by Alberta’s Pharmacy and Drug Regulation—we’re asking compounding and repackaging pharmacies in Alberta to cease serving pharmacies licensed in BC.”

In April, Health Canada affirmed opportunity to further amend the contract required for serving community pharmacies licensed with ACP. Permission to compound and repackage controlled substances will be allowed by compounding and repackaging pharmacies, if they are registered with Health Canada as a licensed dealer. (Licensees of compounding and repackaging pharmacies will be notified and forwarded amended model contracts in June.)

Compounding and repackaging talks underway with Saskatchewan

In the meantime, ACP has begun discussions with the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals, and is working toward the possibility of facilitating compounding and repackaging services from Alberta into Saskatchewan. Council’s goal is to consider this in late June; however, this will depend on the colleges’ ability to achieve clarity and agreement on terminology between jurisdictions.