B.C. pharmacists commit to keep working

Patients asked not to stockpile medication


B.C.’s pharmacists are committed to remaining available to patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, the BC Pharmacy Association said Tuesday.

The association said members would continue to work in order to alleviate pressure on other parts of the healthcare system and to provide an adequate supply of medication for patients, who are being asked not to visit doctors’ offices for prescription needs.

This week, the association said, people have been seeing pharmacists because they require an adequate supply of their regular medications in order to self-isolate or have run out of their regular medications and need more.

The association said patients must already be taking a medication or have an existing prescription for their medication.

“Pharmacists can not provide a new medication to a patient without a previous doctor’s prescription,” a news release said. “Generally this service is provided for medications used to treat chronic conditions.”

In the case of expired prescriptions, pharmacists will work with patients to determine the appropriateness and the amount of medication supply that can be provided.

“Patients who have run out of their medication or need more should call ahead to their regular pharmacy to determine whether a pharmacist can provide the additional supply,” the release said.

The association is asking people not to stockpile medications.

“Pharmacists aim to make sure all patients have access to their medications, so they are generally not providing more than a 30-day supply to support those who are self isolating,” the release said.