Board Chair Christine Antler, and Registrar Bob Nakagawa reflect on the state of pharmacy practice in BC.
We now have 1,469 pharmacies, 6269 pharmacists and 1654 pharmacy technicians serving the public in BC.
We first want to acknowledge the contributions of pharmacy professionals, other healthcare workers and essential workers as BC responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to work to help ensure British Columbians can safely access the medications they need, and to support BC’s pharmacy professionals in providing safe patient care during these uncertain times.
2019/2020 was a busy year for the College and for pharmacy practice in BC. We would like to start by expressing our sincere gratitude to those who participated in surveys, engaged with us on social media, commented on proposed bylaw amendments, and chatted with us at various events. Hearing your diverse perspectives on pharmacy care continues to help focus our efforts and decision-making on the best interests of patients in BC.
Everything that we do as a regulator hinges on providing the public with the safest healthcare experience possible. We are pleased to report that since first speaking with Melissa Sheldrick in 2017, the Board has approved the implementation of mandatory medication incident reporting in all pharmacies by 2022/2023. This represents an important step in moving pharmacy practice forward by providing opportunities to learn from mistakes, improve practice and ultimately, continue to do our best to protect British Columbians and Canadians alike.
To that end, we also made significant progress on a number of new and ongoing initiatives. In January 2020, we rescheduled certain codeine liquid preparations in order to address important public safety concerns. We alsocompleted a comprehensive review and modernization of our legislative requirements under PODSA, which support our continued efforts to follow best practices for regulation, such as the concept of Right Touch Regulation. Additionally we completed the year-long transition period for our new pharmacy ownership licensure process. The transition period allowed us to collect information from previously unidentified pharmacy owners, in order to hold them accountable for ensuring their pharmacies are compliant with our standards. All of these initiatives are the culmination of tireless collaboration and contributions from the Board, as well as staff across the College.
We continue to work toward fulfilling our commitment to cultural safety and humility for BC’s First Nations. From sharing resources with the Board, staff and registrants; to creating opportunities for dialogue with BC’s First Nations Communities, the College remains unwavering in its vision of a fair and equal health system, free of racism and discrimination.
The College also received its Canada Award for Excellence, Innovation and Wellness – Silver Certification. This further establishes the College’s status as a modern, relevant and progressive organization, able to adapt to an ever-changing provincial health landscape.
Finally, we are excited to announce the launch of our new strategic plan for 2020/21 to 2024/25. We’d like to thank all those who took the time to complete our Strategic Plan survey. We received over 7000 comments from respondents across the province, and your input will continue to guide our strategic objectives for the coming five years.
On behalf of the College Board and Staff, we invite you to read our annual report and learn about how the College is working to ensure a high standard of safe and ethical pharmacy care is available to all British Columbians.