Practice Update: Nov. 11, 2020

November 12, 2020
Remembrance Day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row. — Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, 1915

Opioid Agonist Treatment training workshops resume virtually

OAT Training Workshops, which were suspended by the Ministry of Health on March 14, 2020 due to COVID-19, are resuming virtually as of November 20, 2020.

The updated patient-centered Opioid Agonist Treatment Compliance and Management Program for Pharmacy course is based on the most current research focusing on opioid use disorder and the different types of pharmacological treatments. All the interactive workshops, which are each four hours in length, will be held on Zoom. (The course includes a six-hour, self-paced online component that must be completed before the live workshop.)

The College of Pharmacists of BC Professional Practice Policy-66 currently requires that all registrants who are employed in a pharmacy dispensing OAT, must have completed this training by March 31, 2021 (although it is anticipated this deadline will be extended). Currently, pharmacies without at least one pharmacist who has completed the training may be ineligible for methadone witness ingestion fees.

The following workshops are available* for registration:

For more information and registration, please visit the BCPhA website at OAT Workshop Registration

Stay tuned as we continue to update the list with more dates! If you would like to offer a suggestion for a future date or time contact

* workshops have a limited capacity and may fill up at any time.

Changes or cancellations made within 10 days of the workshop and no shows will incur a $50 fee.

BCPhA Webinar: COVID-19 and the Opioid Crisis

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted people who use drugs? Why was the new clinical guidance Risk Mitigation developed? How does this impact the role of the community pharmacist? Join the BCPhA in a live webinar to discuss how COVID-19 has compounded the harms and challenges of the opioid overdose crisis and what approaches to consider to support people who use drugs and to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

When: Nov. 17, 2020 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Digital Delivery
Cost: This event is complimentary to members. The fee for non-members is $50.

Learning Objectives

After attending this session, participants will be better able to:

  • Discuss how COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people who use drugs and/or are on opioid agonist treatment (OAT).
  • Review B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s (BCCSU) interim “Risk mitigation guidelines in the content of dual public health emergencies”.
  • Review OAT prescribing and dispensing considerations during the pandemic.
  • Discuss the temporary regulatory exemptions for controlled drugs and substances in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

Register Now

Health Authorities issue flu vaccine supply update

Several health authorities have issued updates on flu vaccine supplies and usage since the start of the flu season. Please see below for their updates.

Vancouver Coastal Health

As of Nov. 6, more than 500,000 doses of Vancouver Coastal Health's total flu vaccine allocation has been distributed to community vaccine providers and the health authority does "not have the supply to distribute any further vaccine" currently. More than 50,000 doses of unfilled order requests remain outstanding at VCH, but additional supply is not anticipated to come until late November or early December. That additional supply, however, is not expected to meet the demand of current unfilled orders. For assistance, please contact instead of your local health unit.

Interior Health

Interior Health this year received a total of 350,000 doses, a 40% increase from last year. With regards to requests for additional supply, as of Nov. 9, IH is "assessing the stock of vaccine on hand across IH" for deployment to communities who are most in need. For those who have questions, please contact


Fraser Health

As of Nov. 2, pharmacists have received more than 322,000 doses from Fraser Health, up from last year's totals of 264,000 doses delivered to pharmacists. Currently, 90% of Fraser Health's supply of flu vaccines has been distributed. The remaining 10% will be distributed in the "coming weeks' with equitable distribution in mind.

BCCDC surveys storage capacity in community pharmacies for potential COVID-19 vaccine

BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is conducting a survey mainly on storage capacity in community pharmacies (as well as other providers) to assess Provincial readiness to receive COVID-19 vaccine(s).

In collecting provincial information from this survey, and continuing to learn from federal partners on the Canadian COVID immunization strategy, the BCCDC will be able to better prepare and support the province with an optimized vaccine distribution strategy. ​

The survey can be found here. Please complete the survey by Nov. 13.

College issues reminder on requirements to administer immunizations

The College has not made an exception to any requirements for maintaining drug administration certification during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pharmacists who administer injections are expected to have and maintain a Drug Administration Certificate, along with following the College's standards, limits and conditions for administration of medications.

To confirm whether you have a valid Drug Administration Certification, go to the registrant (pharmacist) directory on the College’s website, found at “Find a Pharmacy or Registrant” link on the top of the website (or click here for a complete list of registrants). Note the status under the column “Authorized for Drug Administration”.

To meet the necessary requirements for Drug Administration Certification, you must:

  • Be registered as a Full Pharmacist, Limited Pharmacist, Temporary Pharmacist or Student (UBC) Pharmacist.
  • Have successfully completed a CCCEP-accredited drug administration training program approved by the College as listed in Schedule C of the HPA Bylaws.
  • You must apply for certification for drug administration within 1 year of completing the drug administration program.
  • Have a valid (current) certification in first aid AND Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Find a job in pharmacy - New postings to BCPhA Job Board

Recent postings on the BCPhA job board include:

You must be a member of the BCPhA to view these listings. Click here and log in as a member to view the full job postings.

Are you a pharmacy manager looking to hire in your pharmacy? Post on our job board today.

Whether you are looking for full-time, part-time or relief shift, post your resume today on the BCPhA Hire-A-Pharmacist page and make yourself visible to more than 900 pharmacy owners. Post your resume today!

PharmaCare drug shortage updates

Click here to view the drug shortages from Nov. 4 to 9. LCA/RDP Updates from Nov. 5, 2020 are also available.

Historical drug shortage data can be found on the BCPhA Drug Shortages page. The full list of current shortages can be found on the PharmaCare drug shortage information page.