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 at http://nlpb.ca/covid-19-guidance-for-pharmacy-professionals/
PANL Letter to Minister Haggie Regarding Access to PPE, Childcare, and COVID-19 Testing, March 27, 2020
Telegram Story on 30-day supply, March 27
NTV Newshour, March 27, PANL Presidents Speaks to 30-day Supply Issue (12:07)
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.
President and General Manager
QuikPrint Services Ltd.
5 Golf Avenue
St. John’s A1C 5C5
T: 709 579 2131
M: 709 689 7845
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
Please see the NLPB site noted above for details: NLPB's guidance for pharmacy professionals.
OAMT Guidance Document
Updates have been made to the OAMT Guidance Document for the provision of OAMT during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 in English and French, (B&W print version in English & French) and Managing Mild Symptoms of COVID-19 in English and French (B&W print version in English & French).
CSHP COVID-19 PSN
CSHP has made their COVID-19 PSN (Pharmacy Specialty Network) public. To view, visit: https://www.cshp.ca/covid-19
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.
PANL President Janice Audeau spoke to current pharmacy issues on VOCM Openline Tuesday, March 24. To listen here: Janice Audeau, President of the Pharmacists' Association
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: email@example.com
Your correspondence should also include your MHA. To find your MHA, simply input your pharmacy’s street address into the following search engine:
Once you’ve confirmed your district, check here for your MHA https://www.assembly.nl.ca/Members/members.aspx
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
30-day Supply Limit Poster
The NLPB has developed a 30-day supply limit poster for pharmacies. 30-day Supply Limit Poster
PANL President on VOCM – March 23
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. Janice Audeau, President of the Pharmacists Association
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
NLPB COVID-19 Guidance for Pharmacy Professionals
NLPB's COVID-19 Guidance for Pharmacy Professionals page is now live. This page will be updated as things change – please check important back regularly.
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 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), which will be updated regularly.
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.
Important Key Messages
There have been recommendations that patients should obtain early or additional refills of their prescriptions ahead of schedule. This isn’t necessary and may actually put additional stress on our drug supply system and contribute to a worsening of drug shortages that have predated COVID-19. Stockpiling of other products such as hand sanitizers and toilet paper have already led to shortages and stock-outs, and we simply cannot allow that to happen with prescription medications.
There are important clinical reasons why pharmacists can’t always extend a prescription. Whether lab work may be required, or follow-up appointments with a primary physician or nurse practitioner – not to mention, all medications expire at some point.
Patients calling or visiting the pharmacy with concerns about possible COVID symptoms should be advised call 811 immediately. They can also be redirected to the online self assessment tool.
Info for Pharmacists
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.
Poster 2: ATTN! Reduce the risk of exposure
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.