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Council meeting highlights – June 21, 2017

July 5, 2017

Following are highlights from Council’s deliberations on June 21, 2017. For more comprehensive discussions about these topics, please check this and future editions of the Link. 

Advertising of Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 Drugs

Council has reviewed ACP’s policies respecting the advertising and promotion of Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 drugs. The following guidance takes into consideration that Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 drugs have risk profiles that are different from unscheduled drugs and, therefore, pharmacist oversight and intervention are required as outlined in ACP’s Standards of Practice for Pharmcists and Pharmacy Technicians. Therefore, sales must not be transacted over the internet through any website, application, or social media solution.

Restrictions on Advertising Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 Drugs

  • Any Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 drug that is advertised using any medium must be specifically identified as a Schedule 2 or a Schedule 3 drug and be advertised in a separate section of the advertisement from unscheduled products.
  • No representation may be made regarding Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 drugs other than with respect to the name, price, and quantity of the drugs.
  • Additional notification required:
    • In the case of Schedule 2 drugs, the advertisement must state that “these drugs must be stored and sold in the dispensary of a licensed pharmacy under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.”
    • In the case of Schedule 3 drugs, the advertisement must state that “these drugs must be stored, provided for sale, and sold only in the prescription department of a licensed pharmacy.”
    • The “additional information” must be included in the same section of the advertisement in which the Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 drug is advertised and must be set out in the same font or size as the description of the Schedule 2 of Schedule 3 drugs.

Council highlights:

  • Opiate Reduction Strategy – Council approved new guidelines for pharmacists when dispensing opiates. The guidelines address five requirements that are consistent with existing standards. Starting with this edition of THE LINK, we will communicate with registrants to support implementation of the new requirements on October 1, 2017.
  • Access to Non-Drug Alternatives to Pain Management – Council has supported a request from the Alberta Medical Association to promote improved access to non-drug alternatives for pain management. Complementary non-drug alternatives may assist in minimizing the need for drugs by some individuals.
  • Mifegymiso ®– Council approved new guidelines to support pharmacists when dispensing Mifegymiso®. Our guidance is informed by, and consistent with, what has been provided by the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. Pharmacists must not prescribe Mifegymiso®, as a requisite to prescribing is being able to interpret ultrasound results.
  • Point of Care Testing – Council reviewed and provided input to the framework for Point of Care testing being developed by ACP in partnership with RxA. The framework is being informed through round-table discussion with pharmacists, the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, CARNA, CPSA, and AHS. ACP will use the framework as a foundation for developing standards of practice and providing further guidance to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who use, instruct the use of, or sell POCT technologies in their practices.
  • Role Statements – Council has approved modernized “model” role statements for pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. These were informed through engagement with registrants over the past 18 months, as well as with other pharmacy regulatory organizations and regulators of other health professions in Alberta. ACP will use the model statements to assist in communicating expectations of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists with the public and other stakeholders. They will also be used to support updating of current role statements in section 19 of the Health Professions Act.
  • Change Name of ACP – Council has supported a proposal to change the name of the Alberta College of Pharmacists to the Alberta College of Pharmacy. Council supported this change, believing that it may be more inclusive and better reflect the scope of responsibilities that the college holds. To come into effect, government support is required through legislative amendments to Schedule 19 of the Health Professions Act.
  • Compounding and Repackaging Agreement with Saskatchewan – Council approved a model Compounding and Repackaging Agreement for pharmacies wishing to provide compounding and repackaging services to pharmacies in Saskatchewan. Since approving in principal, comments have been received from the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals. ACP will work with them to finalize the model agreement over the summer.