BC HEAT WAVE – ACCESSING MEDICATIONS AND PROVIDING CONTINUITY OF CARE
[Updated on July 30, 2021]
Historically high temperatures and low precipitation in BC over the past month have caused a significant increase in the wildfire danger rating across the province.
As of Friday morning, the B.C. Wildfire Service says 242 wildfires are currently blazing, with 60 evacuation orders covering just over 3,000 properties still in effect, while residents of nearly 19,000 other properties must be ready to leave on short notice.
For the Public: ACCESSING MEDICATIONS YOU MAY NEED
If you have been displaced by an evacuation, you can visit a pharmacy near you to access an emergency supply of medications you may need. Under the College’s Emergency Supply for Continuity of Care policy, a pharmacist may use their professional judgement to determine if they can safely provide you with an emergency supply. The College’s Find a Pharmacy tool can help you locate a pharmacy in the community where you are staying.
Medical records may be difficult to access during a disaster or state of emergency. If you rely on a prescription, talk to your primary health care provider or pharmacist about how to keep an extra supply or valid prescription in your emergency kit and grab and go bags.
To learn more about how to prepare for an emergency, visit gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC.
VISITING YOUR PHARMACY
Please continue to take the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and avoid visiting a pharmacy in person if you are unwell or self-isolating.
If you are feeling unwell and require medications, CALL your pharmacy and they will arrange to safely provide you with any medications you may need.
Avoid entering a pharmacy if you exhibit any of the following symptoms identified by the BC Centre for Disease Control or you are required to self isolate due to travel or other potential exposure to COVID-19.
Many pharmacies provide delivery services which can help patients – especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 – avoid visiting a pharmacy in-person.
You can also arrange to have someone to pick up their medications for you.
Learn more at: bcpharmacists.org/COVID19
PROVIDING CONTINUITY OF CARE During an Emergency
Professional Practice Policy 31 – Emergency Supply for Continuity of Care outlines what’s expected of pharmacists when providing patients with an emergency supply of prescription drugs for continuity of care in exceptional circumstances in accordance with the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act Bylaws section 19(7)(d).
The policy provides broad latitude for pharmacist decisions on emergency supplies, provided it is in the patient’s best interest and all decisions are properly documented with rationale.
- See information for from PharmaCare on Patient Care During States of Emergency and Evacuations.
PharmaNet also plays an important role in supporting continuity in care by allowing a pharmacist to review a patient’s prescriptions and medication history regardless of what pharmacy a patient typically uses.
Pharmacy professionals and patients can also contact the First Nations Health Authority at 1-855-550-5454 (Extension 2 then Extension 4) for benefits information and to verify patient identification information.
- Public Safety and Emergency Services – Current Wildfire Activity (Government of BC)
- BCCDC Wildfires and COVID19
- Emergency Info BC
- Information for Residents and Evacuees Affect by Wildfire (Emergency Info BC)
- Interactive Map of Wildfire Evacuation Alerts and Orders (Emergency Info BC)
- Wildfire smoke and air quality
- Health and safety around fire retardants/suppressants
- Wildfire Information (FNHA)
- Benefits Information (FNHA)