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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the healthcare system responds to COVID-19, the NSCP is actively working with health system stakeholders to ensure that pharmacy practitioners are able to do all they can to meet the public’s health needs and to protect the drug supply for all Nova Scotians. Many of the measures being taken by the NSCP, Public Health and other healthcare system partners at this time are having a significant impact on individuals, however they are being taken for the protection of the public’s health and safety. We are all looking forward to being on the other side of this crisis. Until then, we ask for your patience and cooperation.

The NSCP has ensured that in an event where the physical office is not available, operations are able to continue offsite. On March 15, the provincial government directed organizations and businesses in Nova Scotia to practice social distancing and support staff in working from home if possible. The NSCP took this direction very seriously and is committed to doing its part to keep Nova Scotians safe.

 During the COVID-19 pandemic, NSCP staff are working remotely to their full capacity, including:

  • responding to general phone and email inquiries and requests;
  • registering and licensing pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, interns, students, and pharmacies;
  • responding to pharmacy practice questions;
  • investigating and addressing complaints and concerns; and
  • sharing updates through the website and via mass communications to registrants.

Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists Relaxes 30-Day Prescription Measure

Pharmacies in Nova Scotia Can Now Provide Prescriptions Based on Availability from Manufacturers

The 30-day prescription measure implemented in an effort to prevent drug shortages has been successful in replenishing the supply of a number of medications in Nova Scotia. Pharmacies have been advised that they may begin dispensing prescription quantities as prescribed for medications that have a stable supply. However, as global disruption in the manufacturing and supply of drugs continues to impact Canada, some medications remain in short and unstable supply. For these drugs, pharmacies will continue to dispense a 30-day quantity.

Since March, the NSCP has been working with its national counterparts, including Health Canada, to protect Nova Scotians from medication shortages. The 30-day prescription measure was implemented on the strong recommendation of those who monitor the nation’s drug supply. “We recognize the burden that additional pharmacy costs have on some Nova Scotians and we’ve always been committed to relaxing this measure as soon as it was safe to do so. We’re pleased that the measure is working, and we can now move cautiously in this direction,” said Beverley Zwicker, CEO and Registrar of the NSCP.

The NSCP will continue to carefully monitor the drug supply at provincial and national levels. Zwicker adds, “While the 30-day prescription measure has been successful in limiting drug shortages at this time, we anticipate additional impacts from manufacturing disruptions in China and India which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. These countries are major suppliers of Canada’s drugs.”

The College is asking for all Nova Scotians’ continued cooperation, including waiting to request refills until they are needed and understanding that reduced quantities may be necessary for some drugs so that no patients go without. “No one in Nova Scotia should be without the medication they need. That’s why this measure was introduced, and that’s why we must continue to consider our individual and collective responsibility in protecting the province’s drug supply during COVID-19. We’re in this together.”

It is important that we recognize the added challenges for those working in the healthcare system during a pandemic like COVID-19. Pharmacy practitioners are ultimately accountable for their actions at all times, including during an outbreak, and they make decisions based on available information, the needs of the patient, their duty to provide care, and their obligation to protect themselves and their families.

The following resources are meant to support the public, pharmacy practitioners and employers in understanding their accountabilities during this time:

Standard of Care During a Crisis

A Pharmacy Professional’s Duty During a Crisis: An Ethical Framework

March 3, 2021

Confirmation on Requirement for Duplicate Prescription Forms

March 2, 2021

Update: Pharmacy Involvement in the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

February 11, 2021

Pharmacy Involvement in the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

December 29, 2020

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar – Dec 30

December 27, 2020

Upcoming Moderna Webinar – Dec 29

October 9, 2020

NS Drug Information System (NS DIS) Prescription Transfers for Monitored CDSA Drugs

September 9, 2020

Update on Pharmacy Practice Provisions for COVID-19

July 30, 2020

Mandatory Use of Non-Medical Masks in Community Pharmacies

June 16, 2020

Newly Licensed Pharmacists

May 19, 2020

Change to 30 Days Supply Measure

May 1, 2020

Guidance for Staff Who Test Positive for COVID-19 and Close Contacts

April 27, 2020

Clinical Practice Consultant Service

April 20, 2020

Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) Community of Practice Resource and Physician Call List

April 18, 2020

Amendments to Drug Administration Standards

April 14, 2020

Temporary Suspension of 180 Days Renewal Limit; Keeping DIS Current

April 9, 2020

Pharmacy Infection Control Measures During COVID-19

April 8, 2020

Messages from Public Health

April 6, 2020

COVID-19 Practice Questions and Pharmacy Closures

April 1, 2020

CCP Discontinuation; Prescribing During the COVID-19 Pandemic; COVID-19 Screening

March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Pharmacy Practice Provisions and Guidance

March 24, 2020

Emergency Protocol for Prescribing CDSA Drugs; Changes to NSPMP and DIS; Fax Transmission Policy

March 22, 2020

Health Canada CDSA Exemption; Verifying Authenticity; Provision of OAMT

March 18, 2020

Dispensed Days Supply; Prescribing in a Public Health Emergency/Crisis

March 17, 2020 (updated March 21, 2020; updated March 31, 2020)

Inappropriate COVID-19 Prescribing

Joint Statement on the Unproven Therapies for COVID-19

March 14, 2020

COVID-19 Guidance from NSCP

Pharmacy Locations as Sites for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing by Third Parties

Guidance: Pharmacy Locations as Sites for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing by Third-Party Entities

Re-opening Guidance

Re-opening Guidance for Health Care Services Settings – Prepared May 27, 2020

Staff Who Test Positive for COVID-19 and Close Contacts

Guidance for Pharmacies When a Pharmacy Staff Member is COVID-19 Positive or a Close Contact

Pharmacy Infection Control

NSCP Pharmacy Infection Control Measures During COVID-19

Temporary Pharmacy Closures Policy

Temporary closure of community pharmacies has the potential to adversely impact patient care and safety. As the role of the pharmacist and the services they provide expands, the significance of temporary pharmacy closures also rises. Pharmacies enter into a contract with patients regarding the provision of their care that includes that the pharmacy will provide the patient with reasonable access to their medication and record when needed and/or requested.

In consideration of the public safety issues associated with temporary pharmacy closures, this policy sets out requirements for pharmacy managers and owners who may need to close the pharmacy temporarily due to the planned absence of a pharmacist or to unplanned events that are outside the control of the pharmacy manager and/or owner.

Temporary Pharmacy Closures Policy

Virtual Services

Registrar’s Advisory: Pharmacy Practice Guidelines for Virtual Pharmacy During COVID-19


Face Mask Required

How to Wear a Non-Medical Mask

Symptoms/Do Not Enter (PANS)

Cleaning Guidelines (NSCP and PANS)

Temporary Closure

Temporary Closure with Prescription Pick Up Contact Information

Temporary Closure with Partner Pharmacy Contact Information

Temporary Closure with OAMT Contact Information

Temporary Closure with Reopening Information

In December 2019, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emerged in the city of Wuhan, China. Since then, there have been reports in several countries, including Canada. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and can include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia and kidney failure. In many cases, clients recover, and in very severe cases, it may cause death.

Please see the following resources for more information about COVID-19:

World Health Organization



CADTH: Drug Treatments for COVID-19

Government Websites

Government of Nova Scotia

Government of Canada

Government of Canada: Guidance Documents 

Contact Us

PLEASE NOTE: The NSCP office is operating remotely until further notice in support of provincial efforts to manage COVID-19.

The NSCP receives a high volume of inquiries and will continue to work hard to respond to each as promptly as possible, typically within two business days. We welcome comments and suggestions about our website. Please email feedback to info@nspharmacists.ca.

Office Location

800-1801 Hollis Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3N4

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

General Inquiries



CEO and Registrar
Beverley Zwicker
902-422-8528 ext 239

Director of Professional Services and Deputy Registrar
Sue Sampson
902-422-8528 ext 238

Director of Corporate Services
Kate Wall
902-422-8528 ext 244

Office Manager
Katie Sexton
902-422-8528 ext 230

Registrations and Quality Assurance Associate
Tracey Chiasson
902-422-8528 ext 240

Registrations Manager
Melissa Rhodes
902-422-8528 ext 231

Quality Assurance Manager
Cindy Ingersoll
902-422-8528 ext 237

Pharmacy Practice Manager
Anne Marentette
902-422-8528 ext 232

Policy Development and Research Manager
Andrea Bishop
902-422-8528 ext 236

Professional Accountability Associate
Kate Davis
902-422-8528 ext 233

Professional Accountability Manager
Tiffany Savary
902-422-8528 ext 234


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