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March 17, 2016 Printable Version

Focus on Error Prevention: Errors Involving Oral Methotrexate

Focus on Error Prevention: Errors Involving Oral Methotrexate

Methotrexate is a high risk drug due to its unique dosing schedule and potential toxicity. If taken incorrectly, it can cause significant patient harm. This is why it’s important to be extra vigilant when dispensing the drug.

When dispensing methotrexate, it’s crucial to ensure that the indication for use and dosage is appropriate. Contact the prescriber to confirm the indication if necessary. As well, make sure that the patient receives and fully understands key information about methotrexate before leaving the pharmacy.

In the Fall 2015 issue of Pharmacy Connection, we outlined a case practitioners can learn from. In the case, methotrexate was mistakenly dispensed to a patient instead of metolazone. We discuss best practices when dispensing methotrexate, as well as a number of key recommendations for practitioners.

Read the latest “Focus on Error Prevention" article now


Narcotics Monitoring System: Six Important Tips

Narcotics Monitoring System: Six Important Tips

Since 2012, pharmacies in Ontario have been submitting information about monitored drugs to the Narcotics Monitoring System (NMS). The NMS helps to identify and alert pharmacies of potential misuse issues with monitored drugs, such as patients who are potentially double-doctoring or making visits to multiple pharmacies. Recent analysis of NMS usage suggests that errors are being made when entering data into the system.

In the Winter 2016 issue of Pharmacy Connection, we outlined six important tips to remember when using the NMS:

  1. Do not use the NMS for inter-store transfers
  2. Do not use the NMS to account for destroyed medications
  3. Enter the proper information for drugs that are for “office use”
  4. Enter the day’s supply as accurately as possible
  5. Confirm the prescriber’s name
  6. Make submissions in a timely manner

We encourage you to learn more about the tips listed above by reading the full article: “Narcotics Monitoring System: Six Important Tips


Designated Managers: Know Your Responsibilities

Designed Manager at a pharmacy

Designated Managers (DMs) have the same professional practice obligations as all registered pharmacists and in addition to these obligations, they have the authority and accountability over decisions affecting the operation of a pharmacy.

It is the DM’s responsibility to actively and effectively participate in the day-to-day management of the pharmacy. Therefore, it’s essential that DMs fully understand all of their obligations. They are accountable for the following pharmacy functions:

  • Professional supervision of the pharmacy
  • Facilities, equipment, supplies and drug information
  • Record keeping and documentation
  • Medication procurement and inventory management
  • Training and orientation
  • Safe medication practices

To learn more about the responsibilities of the Designated Manager and to view relevant resources, visit the “Designated Managers” practice tool on the College website

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