In response to experiences with COVID-19, the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) Council recently proposed a new bylaw to allow for improved responsiveness when emergencies or disasters require timely decision making. The proposed new bylaw continues the authority of Council, but empowers the executive committee to make timely decisions during periods of an emergency or disaster. The consultation period for this bylaw is currently open and pharmacy professionals were invited to provide feedback. Background information and instructions for how to comment are available here: https://abpharmacy.ca/proposed-amendments-acp-bylaws-2
PTSA supports ACP’s efforts to further improve responsiveness in emergent situations; however, we are concerned that the principle of self-regulation authorized by the Health Professions Act (HPA) may be compromised with the bylaw amendment as proposed.
Emergency and disaster situations require that the college carry out its activities and govern the practice of pharmacy professionals and pharmacies in a responsive manner. In doing so, the college must also ensure that regulation of the profession is completed by its regulated members. Regulated members of our profession include both pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. We are fortunate that the current executive committee is comprised of pharmacists, a pharmacy technician and a public member. In light of the recent past and looking towards the future, this may not always be the case.
We have proposed that ACP make further amendments to the emergency bylaw. In situations that the membership of the executive committee does not include either a pharmacy technician or pharmacist, a pharmacy technician or pharmacist, as the case may be, should be appointed to the executive committee prior to the committee acting in the proposed capacity. Amendments to the bylaw should refer to the temporary appointment of an elected councilor to the executive committee as outlined above. While the proposed bylaw refers to Council retaining authority to reverse decisions made by the executive committee, this change to the bylaw would ensure both pharmacy technicians and pharmacists are more appropriately involved in discussions at the time decisions are being made.
The consultation period closes at noon Thursday, June 4, 2020. We are asking Alberta pharmacy technicians to share the same feedback before the consultation period closes. Below you will find a response template based on the ACP survey questions to use when you share your feedback.
Do you agree with the proposed amendments? “No”
Why do you not support the proposed amendments? “I am concerned that the principle of self-regulation authorized by the Health Professions Act may be compromised with the bylaw amendment as proposed.”
What should be amended to make the changes more acceptable? “In situations that the membership of the executive committee does not include either a pharmacy technician or pharmacist, a pharmacy technician or pharmacists, as the case may be, should be appointed to the executive committee prior to the committee acting in the proposed capacity”.