We develop and amend our bylaws, polices and practice standards to protect public safety. We also consider, develop and recommend changes to pharmacy practice requirements that are needed to increase public safety and improve patient outcomes.
Within the context of dual health emergencies, the College introduced a number of bylaw, policy and practice changes to support our province’s response to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid overdose crisis.
The College applies best practices for developing regulatory requirements such as the concept of Right Touch Regulation. Right Touch Regulation means always asking what risk we are trying to regulate, being proportionate and targeted in regulating that risk or finding ways other than regulation to promote good practice and high-quality healthcare.
New Requirements for Verbal Prescription Orders
On June 19, 2020, new requirements for the written records of verbal prescriptions to be filled at community pharmacies came into effect.
The new requirements address a barrier whereby hospital discharge prescriptions written by pharmacists via verbal authorization from a practitioner are often not accepted by community pharmacies and residential care facilities.
The new requirements provide an additional subsection acknowledging verbal prescriptions as valid if the written record includes:
- The name and regulatory college identification number of the practitioner
- The name, college identification number and signature or initial of the registrant who received the verbal prescription
This means that all written records of verbal orders to be filled at a community pharmacy must now meet these requirements. This includes written records of verbal orders taken by registrants in the community.
Amendments for PPP-58: Medication Management
In May 2020, the Board approved amendments to the adaptation of transferred prescriptions and the limitation on drug categories for therapeutic substitution as part of Professional Practice Policy-58: Medication Management (Adapting a Prescription) to support patient care during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College reviewed PPP-58 for opportunities to support patient care during the ongoing public health emergency. Based on the review, temporary amendments were made to:
- Permit the adaptation of transferred prescriptions; and
- Remove the limitation on drug categories for therapeutic substitution where there is a drug shortage.
These amendments will remain effective for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency in British Columbia.