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The COVID-19 Pandemic has created challenges for pharmacy professionals in providing care for patients.  In particular, pharmacy staff testing positive or in isolation due to close contact situations places additional strain on remaining staff and have required pharmacies to reduce their hours or close temporarily.

When a pharmacy is required to temporarily close due to COVID-19, pharmacy managers are directed to follow PO.01: Temporary Pharmacy Closures Policy.  Directions within the policy may include directing patients to seek assistance at a nearby pharmacy. 

In situations where an unplanned closure is required due to COVID-19, nearby pharmacies may be called upon to assist patients.  Staff of the closed pharmacy are unable to access patient records remotely from home. Attempting to provide information or counseling remotely without full access to patient records may place patients at higher risk than referring patients to a nearby pharmacy where the Drug Information System can be accessed for a comprehensive view of patient information. 

The regulatory requirement for an original prescription to be at the pharmacy where the pharmacist is prescribing a continued care prescription was revoked on April 4, 2020 when amendments were made to the regulations to support the section 56 exemption. The College recognized that pharmacists are able to access prescription information from the Drug Information System and the need to hold the original prescription to be able to prescribe a continued care prescription both during and after the current pandemic was not necessary. Alternatively, a pharmacist or pharmacy technician could transfer a prescription from the pharmacy that has temporarily closed utilizing the information from the Drug Information System. 

Pharmacists also have the authority, under section 22 of the Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician Regulations, to provide emergency prescriptions if the pharmacist is satisfied that there is an immediate need for drug therapy, is satisfied that it is not reasonably possible for the patient to see another health professional in a timely manner to obtain the prescription and believes that it is in the best interests of the patient to give the patient a prescription for the drug. 

In either situation, where a pharmacist provides an emergency prescription, continued care prescription, or transfers a prescription due to a temporary closure, it is advisable to follow up with the closed pharmacy when it reopens.

Please direct any questions regarding patient care during temporary closures to the PEICP office info@pepharmacists.ca.


PEICP
Copyright © 2017 PEI College of Pharmacy, All rights reserved.


Email: info@pepharmacists.ca

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PEI College of Pharmacy · Unit 1, 45 Paramount Dr. · Charlottetown, PE C1E 0C6 · Canada

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