Alberta Health has distributed its 3,200 courses of treatment for the COVID-19 antiviral medication, Paxlovid, to 134 community pharmacies.
When assessing a patient who has been prescribed Paxlovid, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are reminded of the importance of assessing the patient and the appropriateness of the prescription each time a schedule 1 drug is dispensed in order to identify drug-related problems. These requirements are established in the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (SPPPT) that each time a Schedule 1 drug is dispensed
- Standard 3: Pharmacists must consider appropriate information for each patient.
- Standard 4: Pharmacists must determine whether a patient has or is likely to have a drug therapy problem.
- Standard 5: If a pharmacist determines that a patient has or is likely to have a drug therapy problem, the pharmacist must take appropriate action. If a pharmacy technician determines that a patient has or is likely to have a drug therapy problem, the pharmacy technician must refer the patient to a pharmacist so that the pharmacist can take appropriate action.
- Standard 6: Each time a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician dispenses a Schedule 1 drug or blood product pursuant to a prescription:
- the pharmacist must determine that the prescription is appropriate; and
- the pharmacist or the pharmacy technician must determine that the prescription is current, authentic, and complete.
Specifically, with Paxlovid, critical elements to consider when identifying drug-related problems include reviewing lab values in order to consider the patient’s renal function, and identifying and managing any potential drug interactions. Note that a review of the patient’s electronic health record (Netcare) is vital to a complete patient assessment.
For more information about Paxlovid, refer to the following resources: