Bylaws are a critical part of the legal framework that allows the College to undertake its business and regulate effectively in the public interest. They play a large role in defining what we think of as the profession of pharmacy and it is important that they are kept up-to-date in order to ensure British Columbians continue to enjoy safe and effective pharmacy care from College registrants.It is a way to demonstrate to the public our profession’s dedication to regulating ourselves in the public interest.
In the proposal that was posted for public comment, the Board made a significant number of changes. Most of these changes were housekeeping in nature and designed to simply help clarify and reinforce existing practice. At the same time, the Board did propose substantive changes that were then posted for public comment over a 90-day period. These changes included:
- Changes to the pharmacy technician scope of practice
- Addition of medication management standards of practice
- Creation of new pharmacy licence types
- Prohibiting the provision of inducements/loyalty points
These proposed revisions to the College’s bylaws became a lively topic of debate not just amongst members of the profession, but also the general public. This was demonstrated by the heavy feedback provided to the College on the proposal to prohibit the provision of loyalty points or inducements. This one proposal alone resulted in 13,000 emails being sent to the College, the largest amount of feedback that the College had ever received on any particular bylaw revision.
The pharmacy technician scope of practice was also an area of concern. Most pharmacy technicians who commented opposed to any changes to the scope, and the feedback that was received both by email comment and in person at an engagement opportunity at the Pharmacy Technician Society of BC Conference reinforced this point.
What Happens Next?
The Board held back three specific originally proposed bylaw changes on loyalty points/inducements, pharmacy licence types, and the definition of supervision from the package that was sent to government for approval as it felt additional review and refinement was required. The Board also decided, based on extensive feedback from pharmacy technicians and the Ministry of Health, that the pharmacy technician scope should not be altered and remains unchanged.
This revised set of bylaws has been passed by the Board and has been filed with the Ministry for final authorization. Watch for information from the College on when these new bylaws come into effect and what they mean for you.
Under the law, the Minister has the ability to disallow (or veto) any section of the bylaws that she chooses. If the Minister does not exercise that right, these new bylaws will become law after 60 days and formal enactment by the government.