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October 22, 2015 Printable Version

Code of Ethics Consultation Closing Soon: Let Us Know What You Think!

Code of Ethics Consultation

The College is currently seeking feedback on a significant revision to the profession’s Code of Ethics. The revised Code of Ethics more appropriately addresses current practice and clearly establishes the standards of ethical conduct, regardless of their practice setting, for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Ontario.

Read more about the development process on the Code of Ethics Key Initiative page.

For more information and to provide your feedback (due Nov. 7, 2015), visit the Consultations page on the College website.


A "Red Flag" Situation We Can All Learn From

Mult-imedications/ batch prescriptions

The Close-Up on Complaints section in the Summer 2015 issue of Pharmacy Connection featured a noteworthy case all practitioners can learn from. A pharmacy continued to dispense medication to a patient long after the prescribed duration date on the prescription. The case highlights the importance of having a process in place to ensure that new and refill batched prescriptions receive a therapeutic review prior to release. It also underscores the need for Designated Managers to ensure that medication processing systems are being used correctly by staff to minimize errors.

Read the full summary of the case and key learning for practitioners


5 Things to Know about Prescriptions for Buprenorphine/ Naloxone

Buprenorphine / naloxone has many similarities with methadone. It is approved in Canada for the treatment of opioid use disorder. There have been reports of errors during the dispensing process as a result of pharmacy teams not understanding the many unique elements in dispensing buprenorphine/naloxone sublingual tablets.

In order to provide buprenorphine treatment safely to patients, an article by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) advises pharmacists to keep the following in mind:

1. Indication: Opioid dependence treatment is the most frequent, and the only approved, indication for buprenorphine/naloxone.

2. Pay attention to start and stop dates: Start and stop dates for dispensing are usually (and preferably) used instead of the total numerical quantity of doses needed.

3. Missed doses are not “owing doses:” If a patient misses buprenorphine/naloxone doses on days during the interval indicated by the start and stop dates, these doses are not considered as “owing” to the patient.

4. Observed and take-home doses: Supervised dosing by the pharmacist is an important clinical component. This involves carefully, respectfully and discretely witnessing a patient placing the tablet(s) under the tongue and observing dissolution. Carry doses must be dispensed in a child-proof container.

5. Tracking missed doses and communicating with the prescriber: Information about missed doses is essential for the prescriber in making clinical decisions regarding buprenorphine therapy and for the pharmacist to medicate their patients safely. As with methadone, it is good practice to inform the prescriber of each missed dose.

Read the full CAMH article, 5 Things to Know about Prescriptions for Buprenorphine /Naloxone, to safely provide buprenorphine treatment to patients.

Additional buprenorphine resources can be found on the College’s Methadone and Buprenorphine practice tool.

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Toronto, ON M5R 2R4