Board Highlights - February 16, 2023

College of Pharmacists of BC's February Board Meeting

Topics include updates to the Strategic Plan, an overview of the College's 2023/24 Communications and Engagement Plan and more.

Updates to the 2022/23 – 2026/27 Strategic Plan

The Board approved the following changes to the College’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan:

  • Changed the timeframe from 2021-2026 to 2022/23 – 2027/28 to reflect updated plan and time to complete given government priorities added.
  • The Key Action: “Consider the Regulatory approach to practice innovation” was removed and subsumed under “Modernize the HPA Standards of Practice.”
  • The Key Action: “Develop a Patient Bill of Rights” was renamed “Develop patient expectations of pharmacy care.”
  • The Key Action: “Engage the public on expected care from pharmacy professionals” was removed and subsumed under “Develop patient expectations of pharmacy care.”
Board Composition Matrix

The Board approved the new Board Composition Matrix for public engagement.

The Board Composition Matrix defines the specific areas of competency, including the Values, Skills, Experience and Knowledge, required for the ideal composition of a high functioning Board.  

At the February 11, 2022 Board meeting, the Board struck a Board Composition Committee in order to develop a Board Composition Matrix against which Board members, chairs and vice-chairs would be assessed.

The Board will now engage with our health system partners, using any feedback received to update the Matrix as necessary.

Bylaw Amendments to the Controlled Prescription Program Hard Copy Requirements for Verbal and Faxed Prescriptions

The Board approved amendments to the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA) Bylaws and the Health Professions Act (HPA) Bylaws, including the Community Pharmacy Standards of Practice, to change the Controlled Prescription Program (CPP) hard copy requirements for verbal and faxed prescriptions, along with amendments to related Professional Practice Policy (PPP) Policy Guides.

The Controlled Prescription Program (CPP) was established to prevent prescription forgery and reduce inappropriate prescribing of drugs. Prescriptions for the controlled drugs specified in the CPP must be written on the duplicate prescription pad specially developed for this purpose.

Typically, CPP prescriptions must be provided using a hard copy of the original prescription form. However, in March 2020, the Board approved bylaw amendments allowing for CPP prescriptions to be provided verbally or by fax as long as the original hard copy prescription is sent to the pharmacy as soon as reasonably possible.

Following this, the College received concerns that in some cases, practitioners were not providing the original hard copy to pharmacies for verbal or faxed CPP prescriptions, leaving registrants non-compliant with these requirements and left with little recourse.

As such, in September 2022, the Board approved amendments to the PODSA Bylaws for a public posting period which ended on December 24, 2022. All comments received were supportive of the changes.  

The approved amendments remove the requirement for the hard copy of the CPP prescription to be received by the pharmacy when a verbal prescription for a CPP drug is issued, and instead permit a faxed copy to be received. Additionally, the approved changes to the Community Pharmacy Standards of Practice remove the requirement for a hard copy of a CPP for to be received by the pharmacy when a faxed CPP prescription is issued. In this case, the faxed prescription must still be written on a CPP form, upholding the purpose of the CPP. Consequential amendments to the record keeping requirements in both PODSA and the HPA Bylaws were also approved, to maintain the requirement for pharmacies to retain paper copies of all CPP prescriptions, including if they are faxed.

These amendments have now been filed with the Minister of Health.

Consequential Amendments

The Board also approved updates to the PPP-66 Opioid Agonist Treatment and PPP-67 Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment Policy Guides to remove the term ‘original,’ now that faxed copies of CPP forms will be acceptable. These policy changes will come into force on the same date the bylaw changes come into force in mid-April.