Board Highlights - April 11, 2019

Board Highlights - April 11, 2019

Highlights from this Board Meeting include amendments to the committee member terms of office, amendments to the Drug Schedules Regulation for Esomeprazole, a Controlled Prescription Program update, a PODSA modernization update, UBC's Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy Program, and more. ​

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The Board approved amendments to the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA) Bylaws Schedule A – Fee Schedule for public posting, in accordance with the College’s 2019/2020 budget.

At its February 2019 meeting, the Board approved the College’s 2019/2020 budget, which included fee increases to meet the operational needs of the College. The proposed PODSA fee schedule amendments aim to actualize fee changes included in the 2019/2020 budget.

Once the 90-day public posting period is completed, pending review of any feedback received, the PODSA fee schedule will be brought to the Board at their September 2019 meeting for filing approval.

Visit the bylaws for comment page to leave your feedback

Amending Committee Member Terms of Office 

The Board approved for public posting, amendments to s. 19(1) of the Health Professions Act (“HPA”) Bylaws to change committee member terms of office. 

Currently, the bylaws require that committee member terms not exceed two years, and that members may not serve more than three consecutive terms. The proposed changes amend these term limits so that committee member terms do not exceed three years, with a maximum of six consecutive years. 

This approach aligns more closely with the three-year term limit for Board members. It also provides flexibility when establishing term lengths for those appointed to committees. Listing a combination of a maximum term length and consecutive years served in the Bylaws is a transparent approach that will enable the College to achieve a balance between consistency and flexibility.  

The amended Bylaws will now be publicly posted for comment for a 90-day period. All feedback received will be reviewed and is expected to be brought forward to the September 2019 Board meeting, where the Board will decide whether to file the proposed amendments with the Ministry of Health.

The changes are proposed to be implemented for committee appointments and re-appointments scheduled in 2020. 

Visit the bylaws for comment page to leave your feedback

Authorizing Registrar to Act under s. 32(3) of the Health Professions Act 

The Board approved for public posting, amendments to the Health Professions Act (“HPA”) Bylaws to include a provision authorizing the Registrar to act under section 32(3) of the HPA. 

The Board provided the Registrar with this authorization at its February 2019 meeting. This allows the Registrar to dismiss complaints made to the College, without reference to the inquiry committee, if the Registrar determined that the complaint:

  1. Is trivial, frivolous, vexatious, or made in bad faith; 
  2. Does not contain allegations that, if admitted or proven, would constitute a matter subject to investigation by the Inquiry Committee; or, 
  3. Contains allegations that, if admitted or proven, would constitute a matter, other than a serious matter, subject to investigation by the Inquiry Committee. 

For enhanced transparency and to align with several other colleges, the Board has decided to take this extra step and propose the inclusion of a provision within the HPA Bylaws specifying that the Registrar is authorized to act under s.32(3). 

These amendments will now be publicly posted for comment for a 90-day period. All feedback received will be reviewed and brought forward to the September 2019 Board meeting, at which time, the Board will consider whether to file the proposed amendments with the Ministry of Health. 

Visit the bylaws for comment page to leave your feedback

Drug Scheduling Amendment of Esomeprazole 

The Board approved amendments to the Drug Schedules Regulation to move esomeprazole when sold for the 14-day treatment for frequent heartburn at a daily dose of 20mg and in package sizes of no more than 280 mg from Schedule II to Schedule III, and to establish esomeprazole for veterinary use as Schedule I.

These amendments improve alignment with the Prescription Drug List made under the Food and Drugs Act (Canada) (FDA), and with a final recommendation made by the National Drug Scheduling Advisory Committee (NDSAC) in November 2018 regarding esomeprazole. 

Controlled Prescription Program Update 

Board Member Frank Lucarelli provided the Board with an update on the Controlled Prescription Program and the Controlled Prescription Program Advisory Committee.

The Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA) Bylaws defines the Controlled Prescription Program (CPP) as: 

A program approved by the Board, to prevent prescription forgery and reduce inappropriate prescribing of drugs. 

The CPP requires the use of a special duplicate prescription pad printed for the purpose of prescribing selected drugs that are part of the program. Once the prescription is written, the prescriber retains the bottom copy marked “PRESCRIBERS COPY” and provides the patient with the original identified as “PHARMACY COPY,” which the patient gives to the pharmacist. 

The drugs selected for the CPP are noted on the CPP Information and Drug List document (“the CPP Document”) on the CPBC’s website, and are listed as Schedule 1A drugs on the Drug Schedules Regulation. 

CPP prescriptions are personalized and numerically recorded, enabling them to be more easily monitored by regulatory colleges, and are subject to more restrictive regulatory requirements. Prescriptions for Schedule 1A drugs will not be filled if they are not written on a duplicate pad.

Controlled Prescription Program Advisory Committee 

In August 2017, the Controlled Prescription Program Advisory Committee (CPPAC) was established to: 

  • Review and update the Controlled Prescription Program components and drug list. 
  • Develop recommendations about the drugs that should require a duplicate prescription, and the information that should be provided by registrants of each college on a duplicate prescription. 
  • Develop recommendations regarding best practices for storage security and reporting of lost/stolen/forged prescription pads. 

The CPPAC consists of the colleges whose registrants are involved in the prescribing and/or dispensing of controlled drugs, as well as the Ministry of Health. The colleges are: 

  • College of Pharmacists of BC 
  • College of Dental Surgeons of BC 
  • College of Midwives of BC 
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC 
  • BC College of Nursing Professionals 
  • College of Veterinarians of BC 

Currently, CPPAC is developing a CPP guidance document to be drafted by summer 2019. The aim of this document is to provide comprehensive information to registrants of CPPAC participant colleges on operational aspects of the program. Potential topics include: 

  • The process for ordering CPP prescription pads; 
  • Issues regarding the delivery and receipt of CPP prescription pads;
  • Records retention requirements; and, 
  • Guidance on the safe-keeping of CPP prescription pads. 

The College will continue to participate in CPPAC. CPPAC meetings are expected to continue to take place approximately every 3-4 months, as needed. 

Update on College’s Work on Reviewing and Modernizing PODSA Bylaws

Doreen Leong, Director of Registration and Licensure and Christine Paramonczyk, Director of Policy and Legislation, provided the Board with an update on the College’s work towards the modernization of bylaws and policies under the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA).

In accordance with its Strategic Plan, the College is conducting a comprehensive review and reform of legislative requirements under PODSA, including the bylaws and policies made under the Act.

This involves a review of legislation and policies under PODSA to ensure that:

  • Bylaws are clearer and duplication in bylaws and policies in addressed.
  • Professional Practice Policies (PPPs) are standardized and transitioned to bylaw where needed.
  • Bylaws and PPPs have consistent writing style and structure.

(See Goal 1, Objective 2: Implement a comprehensive review and reform of legislative requirements under PODSA under the College’s 2017/18 - 2019/20 Strategic Plan)

Registrant and stakeholder feedback as well as Practice Review Program (PRP) data, informed the following key bylaw and PPP topics included in this initiative. In 2018, the proposed scope was reviewed with the College’s Management Team, Legislation Review Committee and the Board.

PODSA Bylaws 

high Priority Topics lower priority topics
Operation of a Community Pharmacy without a Full Pharmacist Developing provisions to allow for community telepharmacy reinstatement
Responsibilities of Managers, Direct Owners, Directors, Officers and Shareholders Reviewing/addressing provisions that might be more appropriately placed in the Health Professions Act Bylaws
Storage of drugs and confidential health information, including offsite storage Reviewing the "Top 10" requirements that are not being complied with (based on Practice Review Program data) and determining if any bylaw amendments are needed
House-keeping amendments, including ensuring consistency consistency of writing style Reviewing PharmaNet requirements in light of the recent transition of administration of PharmaNet functions to the Ministry of Health 

Professional Practice Policies (PPPs) 

high priority ppps lower priority ppps
Depot Shipments of Prescriptions (PPP-24)  Temporary Pharmacy Closures (PPP-46)
Pharmacy Disaster Preparedness (PPP-25)  Operational Procedures for Complying with Benzodiazepines & Other Targeted Substances Regulation (PPP-47)
Repackaging Bulk Non-prescription Drugs (PPP-40) Identifying Patients for PharmaNet Purposes (PPP-54) 
Cold Chain Management of Biologicals (PPP-68)  Pharmacy Equipment (PPP-59) 
  Narcotic Counts and Reconciliations (PPP-65) 
Inquiry and Discipline Publication Policy (PPP-72) 
Validate Identification of College Registration Status for New Pharmacy Hires (PPP-73) 


An internal Working Group comprised of staff from all College departments was established.  The Working Group has been developing the College’s proposals for amendments, which formed the basis for consultations with external advisors and stakeholders.

Numerous consultations have been held, including an online survey in Fall 2018, which received over 350 responses from registrants and key stakeholders; and multiple in-person meetings and teleconferences with registrants, regulatory authorities and healthcare stakeholders on topics ranging from depot shipments, to emergency preparedness.

College staff are continuing to develop and refine PODSA Bylaw amendments. It is anticipated that draft bylaws will be presented to the Board for public posting by June 2019.

Accreditation Preparation – UBC Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy Program

Dr. Kerry Wilbur, Associate Professor & Executive Director of Entry-to-Practice Education in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC, shared with the Board the work that is now underway by faculty to prepare for Program accreditation.

The Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) grands accreditation to programs that both meet and promote continued improvement in CCAPP educational standards.

Program accreditation is public recognition of our status as a world-leading Facultry of Pharmacy. It affirms the quality of our student training and the patient care they will ultimately provide:

  1. Application (self-assessment report, strategic plan)
  2. Site Visit Evaluation
  3. CCAPP Executive Director Recommendation Report
  4. Board of Directors Decision
  5. Award Notification
Preserving the Benefit of Antibiotic Therapy: How the College Can Become Part of the Resistance

Dr. David Patrick, interim Executive Lead for the BCCDC presented to the Board on the importance and impact of antibiotic stewardship in the community, and on the current and future contributions of Pharmacists and the College.

Anti-Microbial resistance jeopardizes the safety of surgery, transplants, cancer therapy, and other immunosuppressive strategies. It also increases the burden, both social and economic, of infectious diseases.

One way to combat anti-microbial resistance is through the use of public stewardship programs and campaigns such as Do Bugs Need Drugs.