Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play pivotal roles in the continuum of health care provided to patients. The responsibility that comes with being an essential health resource is significant. To retain the high level of trust and respect that is given to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians by patients, the public and other health professionals, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be both competent and professional in all they do. As professionals, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are challenged and expected to abide by a higher standard of conduct.
Ethics are the foundation for professional behaviour, actions and attitudes. The ACP Code of Ethics reflects what the pharmacist and pharmacy technician professions stand for and reinforces what is unique about the contributions of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to patients, to society, and to their professions. Ethics reflect the soul of each profession. Consistent ethical behavior creates a positive image of the individual that extends to the image of the professions. In contrast, unethical practices and decisions create a negative image of and diminish trust and credibility about the individual and raise suspicion about the professions.
The Code of Ethics supports ACP in fulfilling its mandate to protect the public. The Code of Ethics enables ACP to provide direction to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians faced with ethical dilemmas. The Code of Ethics also allows ACP to provide guidance to universities and colleges for student curricula. The Code of Ethics serves as a benchmark for monitoring and addressing the conduct of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
The Code of Ethics forms part of the law that governs the practice of pharmacy and the operation of pharmacies. The Code of Ethics cannot be read and applied in isolation. It must be read together with and in the context of the legislative and regulatory framework which includes the Health Professions Act, the Pharmacy and Drug Act, the regulations and standards made under those Acts, other provincial and federal legislation relating to drugs, and provincial and federal privacy legislation.
This Code of Ethics applies to all regulated members of ACP under the Health Professions Act. References to pharmacists in this Code must be read as including clinical pharmacists, provisional pharmacists, courtesy pharmacists, and pharmacy students. References to pharmacy technicians must be read as including pharmacy technicians, provisional pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy technician students. The Code of Ethics also applies to the operation of pharmacies and to the conduct of licensees and proprietors under the Pharmacy and Drug Act.
The principles and the guidelines in the Code of Ethics are binding and regulated members are required to comply with them. ACP recognizes that there may be circumstances where the practice of a member is limited by the legislative and regulatory framework or by a condition on a permit or licence with the result that a particular guideline may not apply to the practice of that member.
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians use their knowledge, skills and resources to