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January 7, 2016 Printable Version

Is it Enough to "Do No Harm?"

Pharmacist Patient Consultation

In the most recent issue of Pharmacy Connection, we published the third in a series of articles relating to the College’s new Code of Ethics. The focus of this article, titled "Is it Enough to 'Do No Harm'?" is to provide a closer look at two of the foundational principles of healthcare ethics – beneficence and non-maleficence.

“Beneficence” refers to a healthcare professional’s obligation to actively and positively serve and benefit the patient and society. “Non-maleficence” refers to a healthcare professional’s obligation to protect their patients and society from harm. Simply put, your ethical obligation is to both serve (benefit) and protect (do not harm) your patients.

To meet this obligation you must ensure that you are as diligent in assessing the appropriateness of the medication therapy to optimize health outcomes as you are in ensuring that the prescription has been accurately filled.

As the article illustrates, it is not enough to simply do no harm. If you believe that there is a more appropriate medication therapy to optimize a patient’s health outcome, you need to take appropriate action.

More information on the new Code of Ethics, which came into effect on December 7, 2015, can be found under the Key Initiative on the College website.


Get a New Practice Tip Every Week on Twitter

#OCPPracticeTip Social Media Initiative

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a helpful practice tip from OCP each week?

We just launched a new initiative on Twitter with the hashtag #OCPPracticeTip. Every week we post a tip designed to enhance your practice. Tips are developed from actual observations and encounters in practice and include: record keeping and documentation, methadone dispensing, narcotics reconciliation, clinical decision making, patient counselling, and much more.

Below is this week’s tip – live on our Twitter feed now!

When thinking about narcotics reconciliation, manual and computer records are not error proof – while helpful, they can provide incomplete or incorrect data.

Learn more: http://www.ocpinfo.com/practice-education/practice-tools/fact-sheets/recon-security/.

Be sure you’re following the College on Twitter so you can see each new tip once it’s published!


Reminder: Only Products Approved by Health Canada Can be Sold

Health Canada Stamp of Approval

Only products that have received a market authorization or a product license from Health Canada are approved for sale in Canada. This applies to both Canadian and foreign health products.  Authorized products have been assessed by Health Canada and found to be safe, effective, and of high quality under their recommended conditions of use.

Authorized products will bear a Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Natural Product Number (NPN), or a Drug Identification Number for Homeopathic Medicine (DIN-HM). These numbers serve as a means for the public and healthcare professionals to know that the product is authorized to be sold on the Canadian market. Please note that the temporary category of authorized products known as Exempted, with an Exemption Number (EN), has been eliminated.

For more information and to help with confirming if a particular product is licensed by Health Canada, please refer to the “Sale of Non-Approved Marketed Health Products” article, published in the Summer 2014 issue of Pharmacy Connection.


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Ontario College of Pharmacists
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Toronto, ON M5R 2R4