As many British Columbians are aware, community pharmacists have been on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic serving as crucial access points to health-care for the public.
Since March, pharmacists have been working to ensure all patients can access necessary medications by helping manage the stress of increased demand to Canada’s drug supply. This has meant that, as permitted by the provincial government’s PharmaCare policy, many pharmacies have been dispensing 30-days’ of medication supplies to each patient based on what was feasible within their individual on-hand supplies.
While many pharmacies in B.C. have not yet seen a total easing of the distribution supply problems that happened in early to mid-March, members tell us that the situation is balancing and that more “normal” orders are being received. Where possible, pharmacists who now have adequate supplies are dispensing the full 90-day supply of medications patients would traditionally receive.
At the BC Pharmacy Association, we are asking our members to continue to be consistent with government policy by providing their patients with the maximum 90 days’ supply where they can, but to continue dispensing 30 days’ where supply is an issue for the pharmacy.
We ask for the public’s understanding that some pharmacies may still be facing challenges in keeping their shelves stocked, but where possible, pharmacists will use their judgment to provide supplies longer than 30 days.