"> Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists

GOVERNING THE PRACTICE OF PHARMACY IN NOVA SCOTIA IN THE INTEREST OF THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE PUBLIC

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

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


Posters/Signage


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

Spectrum

Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU)


Government Websites


Government of Nova Scotia

Government of Canada

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
info@nspharmacists.ca

Phone
902-422-8528

Fax
902-422-0885

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

Deputy Registrar and Director of Professional Services
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