COVID-19


Please see the latest information from PANL related to COVID-19.

Members are also reminded to check the NLPB website regularly for updated guidance for pharmacy professionals

This page was last updated July 23, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.


Newly Added



  • July 23, 2020 | Upcoming COVID Conversations: Virtual Care — Will It Transform Pharmacy Practice?
    The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges interacting with patients given the restrictions on physical distancing and self-isolation. Pharmacists have quickly adopted virtual care as a mode of communication to increase patient accessibility to care. Legislative and regulatory changes have permitted some pharmacy services to be provided virtually, reflecting the integral role pharmacists play in the healthcare system. On Wednesday, July 29 at 1:00-2:15pm EDT, Shelita Dattani and pharmacy panellists Alison Bodnar, Sammu Dhaliwall, Sean Simpson and Tara Maltman-Just will share their experiences with providing care digitally and the evolution of the profession through virtual care. Register now.

PANL Statements and Activities

  • June 15 | Correspondence to NLMA and CRNLL re: Faxed Prescriptions 
    • PANL has requested the NLMA and CRNLL to send a communication to their members asking for them to advise patients to wait at least 24 hours before showing up at the pharmacy for their prescription. If it is urgent, the patient should be advised to contact the pharmacy, note it is urgent, and be provided with an accurate wait time. Patients with non-urgent refill requests should be advised to contact their pharmacy to arrange a pick up time. This will help manage pharmacy workflow immensely and ensure patients in more urgent need are able to get their prescriptions in a timely manner.

      We have also asked for prescribers to include the patient’s MCP number on the prescription as pharmacies are encountering delays in filling prescriptions as they are unable to identify the patient when the prescription only includes the patient’s name.
  • June 1 | Medication Reviews May Be Conducted by Telephone
    • On May 14, 2020, PANL advised that the in-person requirement for the SaferMedsNL initial consultation and Medication Reviews would be lifted temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. The communication and accompanying NLPDP bulletin noted that the SaferMedsNL initial consultation may be conducted virtually (via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc.) and by telephone. The communication also noted that while Medication Reviews could also be done virtually, they could not be done by telephone.
      We are pleased to advise that as the result of further discussions with NLPDP, Medication Reviews may now also be conducted by telephone, temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. This change is effective , Monday June 1 2020. Please see corresponding NLPDP Bulletin.
  • May 14 | Lifting of In-Person Requirement for Medication Reviews and SaferMedsNL Initial Consultation
    • On May 14, PANL Announced lifting of the in-person requirement for Medication Reviews and SaferMedsNL initial consultation temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Medication Reviews
      Medication Reviews may be conducted virtually using applications such as FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc. It should be noted on file that that the review was conducted virtually, for auditing purposes. Please note that medication reviews cannot be conducted via telephone consultation.
  • May 8 | Update on OAMT Delivery Billing Process
    • NLPDP has agreed it will pay pharmacies a $50 fee for delivery of Opioid Agonist Maintenance Treatment (including Methadone and Suboxone) to patients self-isolating as per public health direction, effective May 1, 2020. This applies to all patients, not just NLPDP clients. The process will involve the pharmacist requesting documentation from Public Health stating the patient is required to self-isolate. Public Health will forward the required documentation on to NLPDP. Once NLPDP has the required documentation they will communicate the billing process to the pharmacy. These requests will be considered urgent and will be dealt with in a timely manner. 

    • Individuals who require delivery due to isolation will require supporting documentation from Public Health stating that they are required to self-isolate. Pharmacists must request this documentation from Public Health by contacting Miranda Lambert, Population Health Branch, Department of Health and Community Services, at 729-0115. Public Health will forward the required documentation to NLPDP on the patient’s behalf. Once NLPDP has the required documentation from Public Health, they will contact the pharmacy and communicate the billing process. 

      While pharmacists should try their best to meet the needs of patients requiring OAMT, pharmacists are not required to deliver methadone and/or buprenorphine-naloxone as it is recognized some pharmacies may not have the resources to provide this service. Please refer to NLPB’s guidance on the pharmacist’s role in OAMT treatment for more information: https://nlpb.ca/media/OAMT-Guidance-Document_03_27.pdf .


  • April 16 | 30-day Supply Prescription Bag Notes (NLPDP 65Plus Clients)
  • April 15 | Correspondence to Minister Haggie Re: Allocation of PPE to Community Pharmacies
  • April 15 |  PANL has prepared a QA to help members answer questions from patients regarding the need for a 30-day medication limit.
  • April 6 | PANL Public Awareness Campaign 
  • April 2 | Attn: Pharmacy Owners/Pharmacist-in-Charge: Temporary Change to Methadone Carries Fee Structure
  • April 1 |  PANL's memo to members on 30-Day Supply Dispense Fees
  • March 27 | PANL Letter to Minister Haggie Regarding Access to PPE, Childcare, and COVID-19 Testing
  • March 25 | Joint statment from NLPB and PANL related to 30-day supply

Essential Worker Childcare Extended to Community Pharmacists

PANL is pleased to advise that the Provincial Government’s essential worker childcare option has been extended to community pharmacists. The notice sent to PANL members is available  Essential Worker Childcare Extended to Community Pharmacists

Personal Protective Equipment – Government 

PANL is keenly aware of the challenges and stresses on our members at this time, particularly with regard to lack of access to appropriate PPE. We continue to discuss this issue with the Department of Health and Community Services, reiterating that frontline pharmacists require access to any PPE government is able to secure from the Federal Government or elsewhere.

It would be helpful if members also expressed their concerns directly to government on this issue. Please support PANL in making it very clear what will happen to access to medications should pharmacies cease to operate due to lack of healthy staff. Government needs to understand fully how pharmacists are putting themselves at risk each and every day without proper protection.

We are asking you to send your concerns directly to Minister Haggie at:   hcsminister@gov.nl.ca

Your correspondence should also include your MHA. To find your MHA, simply input your pharmacy’s street address here .  Once you’ve confirmed your district, check here for your MHA 

Personal Protective Equipment – Private

Many of you may have seen a social media post from Dave Callahan, a businessman on the west coast. Mr. Callahan has indicated he has access to PPE including masks, gowns, etc. PANL has been in contact with Mr. Callahan and will provide further information to our members once we have it.

30-Day Supply – Memo to the Department of Health and Community Services

PANL is involved in discussions with the Department of Health and Community Services related to the direction re 30-day supply. Here is our March 22 communication: 30-day Limit Memo to HCS

PANL is a signatory to the following joint letter to the Government of Canada urging coordinated plan for PPE and recognizing pharmacists as essential providers

CPhA has issued an open letter to the Government of Canada, co-signed by 17 other national and provincial organizations. While we appreciate that there are global supply challenges for PPE for all health care providers and understand the need for careful stewardship and triage of these scarce resources, we are asking public health officials to exercise proactive measures and join other global leaders to expedite an action and allocation plan, recognizing community pharmacy as an essential service.

PANL in the Media

March 31 - Crosstalk: Do you have a question about COVID 19 for a pharmacist?  

Janice Audeau, PANL President, addressed pharmacy practice questions during COVID-19 on CBC CrossTalk. Listen here

March 30 - CBC Interview with Janice Audeau  

Listen to PANL President Janice Audeau speak with CBC on March 30 regarding current pharmacy issues. Janice’s segment starts at 25:25 - Listen here

March 27  - News

  • NTV Newshour - PANL President speaks to 30-day Supply Issue - View Article

March 24 - Openline with Janice Audeau  

PANL President Janice Audeau spoke to current pharmacy issues on VOCM Openline - Listen here

March 23 - Openline with Janice Audeau  

Listen to Janice Audeau, community pharmacist and PANL President, on VOCM Open Line acknowledging the incredible work of NL pharmacists and the challenges they face, particularly with regard to limited access to PPE and increased pharmacy visits. - Listen here

CPhA Statements and Activities

Upcoming COVID Conversations: Virtual Care — Will It Transform Pharmacy Practice?

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges interacting with patients given the restrictions on physical distancing and self-isolation. Pharmacists have quickly adopted virtual care as a mode of communication to increase patient accessibility to care. Legislative and regulatory changes have permitted some pharmacy services to be provided virtually, reflecting the integral role pharmacists play in the healthcare system. On Wednesday, July 29 at 1:00-2:15pm EDT, Shelita Dattani and pharmacy panellists Alison Bodnar, Sammu Dhaliwall, Sean Simpson and Tara Maltman-Just will share their experiences with providing care digitally and the evolution of the profession through virtual care. Register now.

COVID-19 and Controlled Drugs and Substances scan released

During COVID-19, temporary changes to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) have enabled pharmacists to better support patients who have been prescribed controlled drugs and substances. Our latest scan outlines these changes across the country, highlighting how the CDSA exemptions have been implemented in each province.

COVID-19 creates opportunities for continuity of care for Pharmacists’ Opioid Stewardship Initiative

The Canadian Pharmacists’ Harmonization Scope (CPHS) 2020, the CPhA initiative that aspires to define, describe and develop a national, forward-looking harmonized scope of practice for pharmacists, is focusing its efforts on a specific therapeutic area with the launch of the Pharmacists’ Opioid Stewardship Initiative (POSI). “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary exemptions have been made under the CDSA, creating an opportunity to provide continuity of care to some of the most vulnerable Canadians,” says Shelita Dattani, CPhA’s director of practice development and knowledge translation. The initiative will gather evidence to demonstrate the value of pharmacists’ services and benefits to patients in opioid stewardship in 4 areas: prescribing, dispensing, health testing and administrative authority.

CPhA encourages Canadians to wear non-medical masks when entering pharmacies

According to a recent Leger/Canadian Press/Association for Canadian Studies poll of 1500 Canadians, 51% of respondents wear a mask when they go out in public, yet only 38% report wearing a mask when they go to a pharmacy. In light of this low number, and in accordance with the latest information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, CPhA is encouraging (en français) all Canadians to wear a non-medical mask or facial covering when visiting a pharmacy.

PPE: Suggested best practices for pharmacies updated

CPhA has updated its suggested best practices on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for pharmacies during COVID-19. Changes in this version include considerations for use of non-medical masks/cloth masks/cloth face coverings as a source control measure, additional clarity on applying point-of-care risk assessments to determine when and what PPE is required and the application of these PPE best practices for immunizations, including influenza.

COVID Conversations webinar recording now available: The Role of Pharmacy in Public and Population Health

Our latest COVID Conversations webinar, The Role of Pharmacy in Public and Population Health, is now available as a full recording or in short segments. This webinar featured leading pharmacist experts in public health and community pharmacy owners on the front lines in both Canada and the United States, who reviewed some of the pros and cons of pharmacists providing public health services. Our COVID Conversations webinars and recordings are open to all.

Stepping up: Preparing Canada for flu season during COVID-19

In a new blog post for Canadian Healthcare Network, CPhA chair Christine Hrudka discusses the importance of preparing for the upcoming flu season and the need to ensure that pharmacists feel prepared to continue to contribute in this very important public health role. “If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s that preparation is key… Our next major focus is ensuring pharmacists have the support, resources and protection they will require this fall to safely deliver flu shots to Canadians. Read the blog in English or French on our website.


Deadline Extended: National Pharmacists’ Survey on Preparing for Influenza Season survey closes May 29

CPhA has launched a new national survey to explore the issues being faced by community pharmacy in preparing for the upcoming influenza season. Please take 5-10 minutes to answer our brief survey to help us understand and prioritize your concerns relating to providing influenza immunizations (injectable and nasal formulations) this upcoming flu season. While this survey is designed primarily for practising community pharmacy staff, we welcome all insights. The survey is available in both English and French. Deadline to complete is 11:59pm EDT on May 29.


National Pharmacists’ Survey on Preparing for Influenza Season

CPhA has launched a new national survey to explore the issues being faced by community pharmacy in preparing for the upcoming influenza season. Please take 5-10 minutes to answer our brief survey to help us understand and prioritize your concerns relating to providing influenza immunizations (injectable and nasal formulations) this upcoming flu season. While this survey is designed primarily for practising community pharmacy staff, we welcome all insights. The survey is available in both English and French. Deadline to complete is 11:59pm EDT on May 26.


The COVID Conversations: The Role of Pharmacy in Public and Population Health


Join host Shelita Dattani on Wednesday, May 20 at 11 AM EDT for a discussion on the role that pharmacy can or should play in overall public and population health. Leading pharmacist experts in public health and community pharmacy owners on the front lines in both Canada and the United States will review some of the pros and cons of pharmacists providing public health services such as immunizations and point-of-care testing, with a particular emphasis on the debate surrounding the role of pharmacy in testing for COVID-19. This session’s featured guests include Michael Hogue, president, American Pharmacists Association; Nancy Waite, professor and associate director clinical education, University of Waterloo; Beth Bryan, pharmacist and owner, Surgoinsville Pharmacy; and Kristen Watt, pharmacist and owner, RxHealthMed Store. Registration is now open.


The COVID Conversations: New webinar recording now available


The recording for CPhA’s latest COVID Conversations webinar, Opioid Stewardship Under the New CDSA Exemptions, is now available. Watch the full recording or review the specific questions that are most relevant for you as CPhA’s Shelita Dattani discusses how the new Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) exemptions can support continuity of care in your daily practice. Featured guests for this webinar include Kelly Grindrod, Pharmacy Professor at University of Waterloo; Angela Sheasgreen, Pharmacy Manager at Elsipogtog Pharmasave; Lisa Bishop, Associate Professor at the School of Pharmacy, Memorial University of Newfoundland; and Mona Kwong, Pharmacy Advisor and Director at Pharmacy Addictions Fellowship Program, BC Centre on Substance Use.


CPhA releases bilingual national survey of community pharmacists on drug supply issues


In a recent survey, community pharmacists indicated that drug shortages are among their top concerns during COVID-19. From increased demand to disruptions along the supply chain, including wholesaler allocation strategies, pharmacists may be facing a certain level of uncertainty and volatility of the drug supply. We are asking community pharmacists to answer a brief survey to help us better understand the drug supply challenges being faced at the pharmacy level. The results will help inform our continued work with government and stakeholders along the supply chain to support pharmacists in drug supply management. The survey closes at 11:59 pm ET on May 11. (English survey, French survey)


CPhA launches new mental health tool for pharmacists


As pharmacists take on greater responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also bearing additional physical and mental stresses as they continue to provide care to their patients. Based on our recent COVID Conversations webinar, the new Supporting Pharmacists’ Mental Health and Wellness During COVID-19 practice tool encourages pharmacists to be aware of their own mental health and well-being during these challenging times, and provides practical tips and links to additional resources for support. A French version will be available soon.


CPhA issues letter to federal members of parliament re: drug shortages and 30-day supply

On April 29 CPhA issued a letter (en français) to all federal members of parliament to provide background information on the 30-day supply directives from a pharmacy perspective. The letter outlines some of CPhA’s major concerns around drug shortages and the drug supply chain, and acknowledges the added pressure the policy has placed on both patients and pharmacy teams. The letter concludes with our commitment to review the 30 day policy on a regular basis and to work towards relaxing it as soon as it is practicable and safe to do so.


New drug therapy document: Dipyridamole/ASA Shortages


CPhA and medSask developed this document to assist health care providers in managing patient care in the event of a shortage of dipyridamole/ASA. A French version will be available soon.


The COVID Conversations: Opioid Stewardship Under the New CDSA Exemptions

CPhA’s next COVID Conversations webinar will take place on Thursday, May 7 at 11am EDT. Join host Shelita Dattani for a discussion about how the new Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) exemptions can support continuity of care in your daily practice. Featured guests include Kelly Grindrod, Pharmacy Professor at University of Waterloo; Angela Sheasgreen, Pharmacy Manager at Elsipogtog Pharmasave; Lisa Bishop, Associate Professor at the School of Pharmacy, Memorial University of Newfoundland; and Mona Kwong, Pharmacy Advisor and Director at Pharmacy Addictions Fellowship Program, BC Centre on Substance Use. Registration is now open.


Therapeutic alternatives to amoxicillin for common pediatric conditions

CPhA and medSask developed this document to assist health care providers in managing patient care in the event of a shortage of amoxicillin suspension.


PPE Suggested Best Practices document updated


CPhA has updated its document outlining suggested best practices for pharmacy use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Changes reflect new guidance from health organizations in Canada and around the world on the use of non-medical masks to reduce virus spread, sessional use of PPE in certain circumstances and tools to help practitioners better assess individual scenarios where PPE may be required. The updated document is available in English and French.


COVID-19 Chapter Updated

CPhA’s COVID-19 chapter has been updated to include new evidence related to COVID-19 symptoms. CPhA will continue to update this content as new evidence becomes available. The open-access content is available on our website in English and French, and is also available on RxTx.



CPhA Explainer: Drug Myths and COVID-19


When it comes to COVID-19, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions around drugs and possible treatments. CPhA’s latest explainer video, Drug Myths and COVID-19, busts the top 5 and urges the public to speak to their pharmacist or other health care provider for trusted, credible and evidence-based information. The short video is available in English and French.



Upcoming webinar: Financial relief for pharmacists during COVID-19 Part 2


Whole Health Pharmacy Partners is hosting a free webinar outlining updates to the federal government’s financial relief programs. Register for Part 2 of "Financial Relief for Pharmacists During COVID-19" taking place this Sunday, April 26 at 11am ET.


CPhA Release: Pharmacists see spikes in drug shortages during pandemic

CPhA issued a media release on April 17 highlighting the threat that COVID-19 poses to Canada’s drug supply, and voicing concerns about dramatic increases and volatility in the number of reported drug shortages recently. The number of shortages reported to Canada’s drug shortage website has climbed steadily throughout March, but increased dramatically in the last few weeks. From March 24 to April 7, an average of 11.6 shortages were reported to the database each day. During the week of March 31 to April 7, this number increased to 15.9 shortages per day. Although these do not necessarily translate to shortages at the pharmacy level, this is an alarming trend.

Inhaled salbutamol shortage document now available

CPhA and medSask developed this document to assist health care providers in managing patient care during the current salbutamol shortage. A French version will be available soon.

CPhA launches national survey of community pharmacists and practice challenges during COVID-19

CPhA has launched a survey of Canadian community pharmacists on pharmacy practice challenges during COVID-19. The brief survey asks about key issues and experiences on the front lines of the pandemic with the aim of better understanding the challenges they face as they care for patients and informing our efforts to provide tools and resources and advocate for government protections and supports. The survey will be open until 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, April 21 and is available in English and French.

New resource available: Staffing and Business Considerations if a Pharmacy Team Member Becomes Ill

CPhA and the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada have developed a list of key considerations for pharmacy managers/owners to help them prepare for next steps if a pharmacy staff member is exposed to or infected with COVID-19. This document will help pharmacies prepare for staff reductions or store closures and offers guidance on staff reductions, self-assessment and connecting with local public health units. Staffing and Business Considerations if a Pharmacy Team Member Becomes Ill is available in English and French.

The COVID Conversations: Supporting Pharmacists’ Mental Health and Wellness

Front-line health care providers are at increased risk of moral injury when dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacists and their teams may be struggling with maintaining mental health and wellness while caring for their patients during this time. Join us on Wednesday, April 22 at 6pm ET for our latest COVID Conversations webinar where host Shelita Dattani will speak with a panel of pharmacists and mental health experts about strategies and tips to support pharmacy teams during the pandemic. Panellists include Jean-François Desgagné (Pharmacie Desgagné et Martin), Anita Gupta (Rehabilitation Psychologist), Heather Scarlett-Ferguson (Alberta Pharmacists’ Association) and Karen Sue-A-Quan (Hospital for Sick Children). Registration is now open.

COVID Conversations: A Day in the Life of Community Pharmacists Webinar Registration Now Open

The next free live webinar in CPhA’s COVID Conversations series will take place on Tuesday, April 14 from 2-3pm ET. In this session, Shelita Dattani will host a panel of front-line pharmacists from across the country who will share stories about how daily practice and patient care has changed in community pharmacy during COVID-19. Speakers include Christina Tulk (Shoppers Drug Mart), Kimberly Sentes (Towers Pharmacy (PharmaChoice)) and Sukhpreet Poonia (Community Apothecary/Langley Memorial Hospital). Registration is now open.

New RxTx Content: COVID-19

CPhA has developed a new chapter focused on COVID-19. The chapter provides information for primary care practitioners on the management of common COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough and headache, as well as a summary of experimental treatments being used in acute-care settings. The content is available to RxTx subscribers, but is also available open access to all health providers. The information will be updated regularly as new evidence becomes available.

CPhA, Diabetes Canada Address Insulin Supply Issues

In a joint statement released today, CPhA and Diabetes Canada provide assurances that both organizations are actively monitoring Canada’s insulin supply. “We have been in touch with governments and manufacturers, who are all committed to ensuring that insulin and other necessary medications remain available for all Canadians,” they say. The statement advises patients to fill prescriptions for only what they need in order to help to ensure that others also have access to what they need. “During these extraordinary times, people are asked to refill prescriptions for a maximum of 30 days and to not stockpile medications or supplies.”

CPhA to Represent Pharmacist Profession Before Health Committee

CPhA’s Barry Power and Shelita Dattani are scheduled to appear before the Standing Committee on Health (HESA) tomorrow, April 7, to testify as part of the Committee’s study on Canada’s response to COVID-19. Other witnesses include representatives from the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, and the Canadian Medical Association.

Drug Therapy Information: Fluticasone Propionate Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler Shortage

CPhA and medSask have developed a document to assist health care providers in managing patient care during the current fluticasone shortage.

PPE webinar recording now available

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Suggested Best Practices for Pharmacies During the COVID-19 Pandemic webinar took place on April 2. The webinar recording is now available for free on our website.

CPhA releases statement on supporting and recognizing pharmacists as essential health care providers during COVID-19

CPhA released a statement today to continue to draw attention to the great work pharmacists are doing during this time despite the lack of supports they are receiving from governments. The statement outlines four key areas in which pharmacists require more help in order to continue to care for patients during this pandemic: PPE, health workforce testing, childcare and mental health supports. We are calling for the federal government to work immediately with provincial and territorial governments to provide pharmacists and all essential health care providers with the support they need in these areas to continue to serve our communities. Read the statement in English and French.

New COVID-19 resources: Patient information

CPhA continues to update its COVID-19 webpage with new information and resources, including practice information, drug therapy information, advocacy updates and awareness materials. We’ve recently added two visual patient information resources that can be shared with patients on the pharmacy website or through social media:

COVID-19: When to Seek Help  |  English and French, (B&W print version in English & French)

Managing Mild Symptoms of COVID-19  |  English and French (B&W print version in English & French)

CPhA Releases Statement on Treatment of COVID-19 with Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine

CPhA has released a statement in response to global reports of physicians prescribing chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to otherwise healthy patients for prevention of COVID-19. This practice threatens the Canadian supply of these drugs and will prevent their use in the sickest patients, in whom the benefit may outweigh the risks associated with these medications. CPhA recommends that pharmacists use their professional judgment to question the appropriateness of any prescriptions they receive for these medications that are outside the usual indications.

Webinar Recording Now Available: Managing COVID-19 Day-to Day: More Answers to Pharmacists’ FAQs

CPhA hosted a second FAQs webinar to answer pharmacists’ day-to-day questions about COVID-19. More than 2000 people registered for the webinar, which was moderated by CPhA’s Shelita Dattani and featured panelists Smita Patel (McKesson), Kelly Grindrod (University of Waterloo), Annette Robinson (Pharmasave) and Allan Malek (OPA). The recording is available on our website - view webinar recordings

CPhA and Other Leading Organizations Send Joint Letter to First Ministers

CPhA, along with CMA, CNA, the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association and the Canadian Association of Social Workers have sent a joint letter to Canada’s First Ministers calling for measures to provide front line health and social providers with personal protective equipment as well as clear and consistent information and guidelines. They are also calling for emergency funding and support programs to assist providers with childcare needs, wage losses due to falling ill or having to be quarantined, and support of their mental health needs both during and after the crisis has subsided. Read the English and French letters.

CPhA statement on the responsible allocation of medications to patients

CPhA supports the responsible allocation of medications to patients and recommends a 30-day supply of medications, unless clinically justified. We are calling on governments, private payers, public health officials, regulators and other health care practitioners to support this temporary change in dispensing practice and to encourage Canadians to refrain from purchasing large quantities of medical supplies. Read the statement.

CPhA releases Guidelines for Protecting the Front Lines: COVID-19 Day-to-Day Questions

CPhA has created an FAQs page to help pharmacists manage day-to-day questions about COVID-19 in their pharmacies. This is a national living document meant to support policy, practice and clinical guidelines being developed across the country, and will answer key questions pharmacists may have when supporting their patients during the pandemic. The content will be updated regularly. A French page will also be provided.

CPhA launches COVID-19 Information for Pharmacists resource page

CPhA is committed to working with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to ensure that pharmacists across Canada have the tools and resources to support their patients as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources and information compiled by CPhA will be available on our website at www.pharmacists.ca/covid19 (www.pharmacists.ca/covid19fr)

Use of NSAIDs in patients with COVID-19: What is the evidence? 

CPhA has developed a resource outlining the evidence around use of NSAIDs in patients with COVID-19. There is currently insufficient evidence that NSAIDs negatively impact morbidity or mortality of COVID-19 and Health Canada continues to recommend both ibuprofen and acetaminophen for treatment of fever due to COVID-19. Further research, including randomized controlled trials, is required to determine the impact of NSAIDs on coronavirus infection and subsequent disease. The statement is available on our website and CPhA’s Barry Power spoke to Global News on March 17.

The following document was prepared by CPhA related to best practices for pharmacies during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pharmacy Signage

Poster 1:   ATTN! 811

This message is intended to keep anyone who is potentially infected with COVID-19 out of the pharmacy. It is essential to post this in VISIBLE areas in all of your entrances. If you have an online or social media presence, you can post this on those platforms as well. Ideally, ALL patients will see this message before entering your pharmacy. Make sure you fill in your correct contact information on each poster before placing them in the pharmacy.

This message is intended to inform the public of ways they can reduce and prevent the risk of exposure to COVID-19. If you have space, place both posters next to each other in all entrances. If you do not have space, poster 2 can be placed in another area close to the pharmacy. If you have an online or social media presence, you can also post this on those platforms. Ideally, ALL patients will see this message upon entering your pharmacy.  Make sure you fill in your correct contact information on each poster before placing them in the pharmacy.

Other Resources

Directory of Local PPE Suppliers Created

The provincial Public Procurement Agency has developed a directory of local PPE suppliers. The directory lists local companies that sell PPE and other supplies used to keep both employees and customers safe in the workplace during the pandemic.

The directory is available at: https://www.gov.nl.ca/ppa/


Provincial Government Announces Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 Essential Worker Support Program

Members are encouraged to view the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador news release outlining the Essential Worker Support Program. As per the Government of Canada Guidance, pharmacy workers are eligible.


IMC creates Research Chair in Pandemic Preparedness

Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) has announced the creation of a Research Chair in pandemic preparedness. IMC’s member companies will contribute $500,000 from the IMC COVID-19 Fund over 3 years to support the work of an early-career researcher affiliated with a recognized academic institution to be the Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada Chair in Pandemic Research.


What does the evidence say on COVID-19? 

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) has created a dedicated portal for evidence, tools and resources covering a range of COVID-19 topics, including prevention, testing and treatment.


Regulators explore exam options during pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced pharmacy regulatory authorities to make changes and explore alternatives to their exam schedules and delivery methods, Canadian Healthcare Network reports (subscriber access required). Recently, the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC), the pharmacy profession’s national certification body, announced single-day computer-based testing for the September 2020 Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Exam Part I (MCQ). PEBC says candidates will have the opportunity to schedule the time of day to take the exam online, choose the most convenient location among various secure sites across Canada, and use a keyboard and mouse, rather than a pencil and paper. Most provincial regulatory authorities have postponed scheduled jurisprudence exams. The Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP), for example, has postponed its May sitting and is assessing the status of its August exam.


Mental Health Commission of Canada launches free online crisis training for essential workers

 

In response to added pressures on essential workers during COVID-19, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has developed a trio of free crisis response training programs designed to help front-line workers deal with the stress of these exceptional circumstances. Not only are those working in essential roles during COVID-19 at increased physical risk, they may also be experiencing mental health challenges or be called upon to support a person experiencing a crisis. The three new online programs ꟷ Caring for Yourself, Caring for Your Team and Caring for Others ꟷ are designed to help people deal with these new challenges and are based on the MHCC's successful in-person courses: Mental Health First Aid and The Working Mind.


Health Canada issues warning about use of hydroxychloroquine


In an advisory issued over the weekend, Health Canada is warning that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine may cause serious side effects, including heart rhythm problems. The risk of these side effects may increase at higher doses, or if the drugs are used in combination with other drugs, such as the antibiotic azithromycin. Patients should use these drugs only under the supervision of a physician. Health Canada is concerned that some people may be directly buying and using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19 without a prescription. CPhA has produced additional guidance (en français) on this issue, and will continue to update the statement as new evidence is available.


Update From OHS re: KN95 (approved in China) versus N95 (approved by US NOISH)

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) has provided an update on the handling of KN95 Masks during COVID-19.

If the KN95 is being used like an N95 - for tasks including hazardous medication work - then fit testing would be required.

If the KN95 is being used in place of a surgical mask, fit testing is not required. OHS has been hearing from a number of employers who cannot get access to surgical masks but can get KN95s. These employers are using the KN95s as a surgical masks, more so to protect other people rather than the individual wearing it. As the KN95s are not being used for respiratory protection but are being used for general COVID-19 protection, OHS has allowed them to be used without fit-testing.


Eastern Health Opens Provincial Opioid Toll-Free Line

Eastern Health advises the public that a temporary provincial phone line is now available for those receiving Opioid Dependence Treatment, for those seeking support for their opiate use, for their families and for health-care providers.

The Provincial Opioid Dependence Treatment line will help individuals navigate the system and connect with opioid addiction support and services.

The line will operate from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be reached by calling toll-free at 1-844-752-3588.

Open Letter from CAPDM to Pharmaceutical Stakeholders on Covid-19 Supply Considerations

The Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management (CAPDM) has written a memo in strong support for continuing demand restriction policies, at this time, as the industry strives to stabilize the pharmaceutical supply chain .

COVID-19 Webinar on NLPB Learning Portal

For those who were not able to attend the webinar on Monday evening, April 6, the recorded video, a copy of the slides, and a record of participation is now available on the NLPB Learning Portal. While there were some technical difficulties at the beginning, the webinar was a great collaborative and informative session--thanks to Dr. Debbie Kelly for presenting. For those of you who were able to attend via Zoom and/or Facebook Live, thanks for participating and we hope to see the same attendance and engagement during our future sessions.

*Due to the present-day relevance of the COVID-19 topic and the accuracy of the data shared during the webinar, the video will be available for viewing only until May 6 so please take the time to review it before then.

Memo from CAPDM re: 30-day Supply

The Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management (CAPDM) supplies pharmacies and hospitals with essential medicines. It has written a memo to NAPRA, the national regulatory body, to strongly encourage pharmacy stakeholders to continue recommending the 30-day medication supply until medication inventories begin to stabilize.

GovNL COVID-19: Supporting people requiring ODT

The Government of Newfoundland & Labrador (NL) has produced information for individuals who need assistance related to opioid use disorder or OAMT. At this time, individuals should not be directed to go to their local emergency department in order to receive methadone or suboxone, unless they are seriously ill. Please see the COVID-19: Supporting people requiring opioid dependence treatment document now available on our guidance page for a list of recommended contacts and useful information.

McDonalds Canada Offers Free Coffee and Tea to Pharmacists

McDonald’s Canada is recognizing the essential services pharmacists are providing and is including pharmacists in the free tea and coffee offer to all frontline healthcare workers and emergency services personnel. To avail of the offer, you must have a worker’s ID on-hand when ordering their coffee or tea. Please speak with your employer if you do not have such an ID.

HEALTH CANADA EXEMPTION (WITH LEGISLATIVE CHANGES) -*as of March 27, 2020

Health Canada Subsection 56 (1) Class Exemption for Patients, Pharmacists Prescribing and Providing Controlled Substances in Newfoundland and Labrador

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, please be advised that Health Canada has issued a pharmacy exemption for certain provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and its regulations. See CDSA Exemption and interpretive guide for controlled substances.

OAMT GUIDANCE DOCUMENT
Updates have been made to the OAMT Guidance Document for the provision of OAMT during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ELECTRONIC/ALTERNATIVE PRESCRIBING METHODS -
For advice on electronic prescribing see Frequently-Asked Questions about Pharmacy Practice.

Social Distancing Floor Decals

The following was received from QuikPrint Services Ltd, located in St. John’s.

Many of your colleagues have ordered and implemented floor decals to protect their staff and clients with social distancing while visiting your pharmacies. A sample is available to view here Pharmasave Signage. The price is $12.00 each plus HST, and min order of 4 is required. Reach out if you are interested in ordering. We can take online orders and payment, and offer delivery or curb side pick up by appointment.

Paul Currie, President and General Manager

QuikPrint Services Ltd.

5 Golf Avenue, St. John’s A1C 5C5

T: 709 579 2131 | M: 709 689 7845

E: Paul@Quikprint.net

Health Canada Exemption (Pre-Legislative Changes)

Health Canada Subsection 56 (1) Class Exemption for Patients, Pharmacists Prescribing and Providing Controlled Substances in Newfoundland and Labrador *as of March 25, 2020

OAMT Guidance Document 

Updates have been made to the OAMT Guidance Document for the provision of OAMT during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CSHP COVID-19 PSN

CSHP has made their COVID-19 PSN (Pharmacy Specialty Network) public. Visit website

Please see the NLPB site noted above for details: NLPB's guidance for pharmacy professionals

Health Canada Issues FAQ on Subsection 56(1) Class Exemption

Health Canada has issued additional information in the form of an FAQ for pharmacists regarding the Subsection 56(1) class exemption for patients, practitioners and pharmacists prescribing and providing controlled substances in Canada during the coronavirus pandemic. This exemption authorizes pharmacists to prescribe, sell, or provide controlled substances in limited circumstances, or transfer prescriptions for controlled substances in the public interest during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAQ clarifies elements of this exemption, including verbal orders, new patients, initiating new treatment, delivery, etc., and is available in English and French.

COVID-19 information for Opioid Agonist Treatment for Prescribers and Pharmacists

From the Provincial Opioid Dependence Treatment Centre of Excellence

NLPB - UPDATE ON MEDICATION SUPPLY GUIDANCE – issued March 19, 2020

To lessen the risk of drug shortages that could result from increased demand and reduced supply during this pandemic, pharmacy professionals SHOULD limit the quantity of medication dispensed to 30 days, or less, if necessary - based on the availability of a given medication. If pharmacists feel it is appropriately justified, they may use their professional judgement to provide a longer days supply under special circumstances.