Council convened in June, in conjunction with ACP’s “Celebration of Leadership” when President Stan Dyjur was installed, and the leadership of other ACP leaders celebrated. Newly appointed public member Christine Maligec joined in her first meeting, and newly elected council members were introduced to council deliberations and proceedings as observers. Their ideas, enthusiasm, and awareness of ACP’s moral responsibility to Albertans for quality pharmacy practice are strong indicators that their leadership will build upon the legacy of leaders who have preceded them.
The following highlights briefly introduce some of the more important issues deliberated and decisions made. Watch for further information about many of these in future editions of The Link.
Guidelines for Using Manufacturers Coupons in Pharmacy Practice – over the past two years Council has studied and debated the use of coupons by pharmaceutical manufacturers to promote their products. ACP’s interest is to ensure that pharmacy professionals can consistently assess the health needs of individuals and make objective and informed decisions about the best solutions for them. When considering the broad scope of practice pharmacists in Alberta enjoy, Council felt it necessary to provide guidance about the acceptable use of coupons in pharmacy practice. Watch for a future edition of The Link in early September, to learn more.
Reporting Errors to Support Quality Improvement – a panel including a family member whose child died as a result of a dispensing error, a leader from the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and pharmacists from two other provinces that have implemented mandatory reporting of medication errors engaged with Council to explore the merits of mandatory reporting to support quality improvement. Council concluded that there was merit in systemic reporting of medication errors to support quality improvement provided that
- it was discrete and respected principles of privacy and confidentiality,
- reporting procedures were implemented in a manner to not unduly interrupt workflow, and
- reports were provided to practitioners to support them in personally improving their practices.
Direction was provided by Council to further explore solutions that support these critical success factors and develop a plan for implementation in the future.
Requirements for International Pharmacy Technician Candidate Admission to Provisional Register – Council enhanced ACP’s policies for the admission of International Pharmacy Technician candidates to ACP’s provisional register, to be consistent with policies previously approved for pharmacist candidates. This means that amongst other requirements, candidates will be required to successfully complete Part 1 of the PEBC Qualifying Examination (MCQ) for pharmacy technicians prior to registering on the provisional register and participating in structured practical training.
Guidance Document to Support Non-Sterile Compounding Standards – Council approved a guidance document to support the new Standards for Compounding Nonsterile Preparations that were approved in April. This delay allowed ACP to review and incorporate feedback into the document, received through consultation with registrants and stakeholders. Watch future editions of The Link for more information about implementation of these standards.
Cannabis – Council continued its debate about the legalization of cannabis, with a focus on cannabis for medical use. Council considered DRAFT principles for pharmacists’ roles with respect to cannabis for medical use, and directed that guidance or standards (as determined appropriate) be developed for pharmacy professionals. These would include
- interpreting and applying the new regulations, once they are approved,
- the role of pharmacy professionals with respect to cannabis for medical use, and
- the advertising and promotion of cannabis for medical use in pharmacy practice.
Watch for further guidance about cannabis for medical use in The Link in September and October, in advance of the new regulations coming into effect.