Endnote: Kickstarting the new year

May 2, 2022 The Tablet

COVID-19 vaccination program

Starting in December/January, more than 1,000 pharmacies were onboarded to the ImmsBC system over the course of a few weeks. The Association provided user help for all pharmacy staff seven days a week. The BCPhA managed the logistics of the vaccine roll-out as no one else, not the government, BCCDC or an outside consultant, could have done this on their own. As of the week of March. 21, B.C. pharmacies have administered more than 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccines.

Injections top-up fees

A $4 top-up was made available for vaccines provided in pharmacies on weekends until March. 27, 2022. This fee was also to help offset the cost of bringing in allied health professionals to administer injections in pharmacy. A separate $1 top-up was made available starting Feb. 14, 2022 for pharmacies to support dual entry of COVID-19 boosters into ImmsBC and PharmaNet.

Reimbursement for private-funded flu shots

In January 2022, the Association worked with the Ministry of Health to ensure that following universal flu vaccine eligibility announced by the B.C. government last year, pharmacies would be able to apply for reimbursement of privately purchased flu vaccines.

Paxlovid® in pharmacies

Paxlovid® (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir), the oral antiviral drug to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19,was approved to be dispensed in community pharmacies on March 1, 2022.  The BCPhA successfully advocated for a $15 follow-up fee since pharmacists must contact patients approximately one week after dispensing the medication.

Rapid Antigen Tests

The Association advocated for a $5 service fee was provided to pharmacies for each kit distributed to eligible British Columbians. As of the week of March 22, 2022, pharmacies across the province had dispensed 2.7 million COVID rapid antigen tests to eligible patients.

This article is featured in The Tablet. The Tablet features pharmacy and industry news, profiles on B.C. pharmacists, information on research developments and new products.