Pharmacy professionals should stay informed on medication, health product and medical device issues that may affect patient safety, including recalls, shortages, adverse reactions and other safety notices.
Link to Health Canada resources regarding recalls, adverse reactions and other safety notices, including a searchable database, are available in the Additional Resources – Health Canada: Health Products section.
Information about current and upcoming drug shortages can be found at Drug Shortages Canada (www.drugshortagescanada.ca) and in memos sent directly to pharmacies from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and drug manufacturers/suppliers. For more information please visit Health Canada’s Drug Shortages in Canada webpage.
Other resources for pharmacy professionals related to drug shortages:
Updated September 2018
Legislative Reference: Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act, Ontario Regulation 264/16
It is a standard of accreditation for a pharmacy to have available the references and resources that are required by registrants practicing in the pharmacy to meet the standards of practice of the profession and to support the pharmacy services the registrants provide.
The Board has approved the use of electronic and web-based library reference materials as an alternative to hard copy texts. Regardless of the format chosen, the Designated Manager/delegate must ensure sources of information are readily accessible and freely available to the pharmacy staff working in the pharmacy.
Pharmacy professionals must have access to, and should be familiar with navigating, the OCP website.
Links to current legislation and OCP references are located under Regulations & Standards, including, but not limited to:
To enable registrants to meet the standards of practice, at a minimum, every pharmacy1 should have at least one reference in each of the following areas:
The College does not recommend a particular reference in any area. It is up to the Designated Manager/delegate to research and compare the different options available and to select the appropriate references for the pharmacy.
1Note that this section does not apply to remote dispensing locations (RDLs) where all drugs are dispensed from an automated pharmacy system as the accredited pharmacy operating the RDL must have the required resources to support pharmacy services for both the accredited
pharmacy and the RDL.
As practice is constantly evolving, it is critical that the reference is the current edition or latest version available, and is updated regularly. The selection of references should be reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure each remains relevant and suitable for its intended purpose. Textbooks may be procured from various sources, such as directly from the publisher, the bookstore of a local university, or various retail outlets including on-line booksellers. The College does not evaluate or endorse suppliers.
Advisories, Warnings and Recalls – See MedEffect™ Canada
Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch (CSCB):
Therapeutic Products Directorate: Office of Clinical Trials:
Therapeutic Products Directorate:
Establishment Licenses (Drugs and Medical Devices)
Good Manufacturing Practices (including Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients)
Marketed Health Products Directorate: MedEffect Canada Team:
Canadian Vigilance Program Ontario Regional Office:
Therapeutic Products Directorate: Medical Devices Bureau
Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD):
Drug Strategy and Controlled Substances Programme: Office of Controlled Substances
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org 613-952-2177
Reporting of Loss and Theft of Controlled Substances and Precursor Chemicals:
List of medicinal ingredients that when found in a drug, require a prescription
Veterinary Drugs Directorate:
Other useful links:
The mandate of the IPC is set out in the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), governing the responsibilities of heath information custodians in handling personal health information.
Privacy Breach Information
Personal Health Information
PHIPA Fact Sheets
Under the Ministry of Health, Drugs and Devices Division, the Drug Programs Delivery Branch is responsible for administering Ontario’s Public Drug Programs, Assistive Devices Program (ADP), and additional programs including those listed below.
Ministry of Health Programs
Professional Pharmacy Services
Ontario’s Public Drug Programs
Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program
Help Desk: 1-800-668-6641
Senior’s Co-payment Program (SCP)
Other Publicly Funded Drug Programs