Certification for Drug Administration
Stay Informed Regarding Legislative Requirements!
As registrants are aware, pharmacists in BC expanded their scope of practice to include the Administration of Drugs by Injection in 2009. Pharmacists may administer drugs by injection or intranasal route in accordance with Section 4.1(1)(c) of the Health Professions Act and Section 43(1) of the Bylaws to the Health Professions Act which state:
- That a practising pharmacist may apply to the registrar under this section for certification that the practising pharmacist is qualified and competent to perform a restricted activity under section 4(1) (c.1) of the Pharmacists Regulation (administering injections).
- That a registrant may perform an activity described in section 4(1)(c.1) (administering injections) only if the registrant has successfully completed a certification program established, required or approved under the bylaws to ensure registrants are qualified and competent to perform the activity.
After completing the required courses as stated above, pharmacists must submit the “Application for Certification – Drug Administration by Injection and Intranasal Route” to the College. Pharmacists are not officially certified for drug administration until the College processes this application and informs the pharmacist of their authorization. All pharmacists authorized for drug administration are listed in the Registrant Directory on the College’s website.
The Inquiry Committee has reviewed recurrent situations whereby pharmacists completed the necessary courses, but failed to submit an application to the College for official certification.
A pharmacist registrant had been administering immunizations to patients for two years before it was discovered that this pharmacist was not officially certified for drug administration. The pharmacist thought certification was automatic upon completing the injection courses and, therefore, had not submitted an application to or received authorization from the College.
In this case, even though the pharmacist registrant had the necessary training, the pharmacist did not have official certification to administer injections. This is analogous to having a pharmacy degree but not being registered with the College as a pharmacist registrant. The Inquiry Committee found that the pharmacist should have known about the requirements to submit an application to the College, as these requirements are clearly stated on the College’s website and are also made known to registrants during the injection courses. Given the seriousness of this matter, the Inquiry Committee requested this pharmacist consent to specific formal undertakings that included a Letter of Reprimand placed on the College’s register.
In addition, pharmacists providing drug administration by injection are required to maintain valid Basic First Aid and CPR certification for the duration of their authorization in accordance with Section 43(4) of the Bylaws to the Health Professions Act which states:
- To maintain certification under this section, a practising pharmacist must declare upon registration renewal, in-part, that they have successfully completed a continuing education program in drug administration if an injection has not been administered in the preceding three years, that they have successfully completed a continuing education program in administering a drug by intranasal route if a drug has not been administered by intranasal route in the preceding three years, maintain current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and maintain current certification in first aid from a program approved by the board and specified in Schedule “C”.
In order for a pharmacist to maintain their authorization to provide Drug Administration by Injection, a pharmacist must ensure that they maintain valid Basic First Aid and CPR training. In a situation where a pharmacist’s Basic First Aid and/or CPR training has expired, their authorization to provide Drug Administration by Injection becomes invalid and they must contact the College to inquire about the re-certification or re-application processes.
The Inquiry Committee has reviewed recurrent situations whereby pharmacists did not maintain valid Basic First Aid and/or CPR training and continued to provide drug administration by injection to their patients. In these situations, the pharmacists did not maintain the necessary requirements to validate their Injection Authorization.
A pharmacist registrant completed all necessary requirements and received authorization to provide Drug Administration by Injection from the College. The pharmacist’s Basic First Aid and CPR training were due to expire, therefore, so they renewed their CPR training. However, the pharmacist did not renew their Basic First Aid training and continued to provide immunizations to their patients without maintaining the necessary requirements to do so. The pharmacist reported that they unaware that they were required to maintain both valid First Aid and CPR training to maintain her Injection Authorization.
In this case, the Inquiry Committee found that the pharmacist registrant should have ensured that they maintained the necessary knowledge and skills required to provide drug administration by injection to patients. It was their responsibility, as a College registrant, to be aware of and abide by the necessary requirements. As such, the Inquiry Committee requested this pharmacist consent to specific formal undertakings that included a Letter of Reprimand placed on the College’s register for a period of two years.
Please be reminded that it is the responsibility of registrants to ensure that they are aware of and maintain the necessary requirements prior to providing any pharmaceutical service. Should a registrant be unclear regarding these requirements, they should contact the College for further assistance and clarification.
For more information regarding certification for drug administration by injection and intranasal route, please visit the College’s website here: