PTSA’s Feedback on Narcotic Legislation Changes

For the last several years, advocating for revisions to federal narcotic legislation to allow pharmacy technicians a greater role in handling controlled substances has been a priority for PTSA. This work has been focused on two key strategies:

  1. Developing a position paper that can be used to solicit support for narcotic legislation changes; and,
  2. Providing feedback on related Health Canada consultations.

In July 2018, PTSA released the paper to provide recommendations for the legislative changes necessary to support optimized pharmacy practice in the context of the procurement, receipt, preparation, provision, storage, destruction and related record keeping of narcotics, controlled drugs and targeted substances. Granting legislative authority to pharmacy technicians will allow for the consistent application of processes to fulfill the necessary tasks that provide for the protection of controlled substances against loss or theft and allow pharmacists to redirect their attention to prevention, treatment and harm reduction strategies.

View the position paper here: The Pharmacy Technician’s Role in the Handling of Controlled Substance

In 2017, Health Canada embarked on the creation of guidance documents to support the handling of drugs returned to pharmacies as well as the destruction of unusable controlled drugs. PTSA took the opportunity to let Health Canada know that “pharmacy technician” needs to be specifically defined within the regulations and our role reflected in not only how we support pharmacists, but as the owners of this work in pharmacies. You can read the feedback letter here.

In March of this year, Health Canada opened a consultation period seeking feedback in all areas of pharmacy practice in anticipation of proposed amendments to the Narcotic Control Regulations (NCR), the Benzodiazepines and Other Targeted Substances Regulations (BOTSR) and the Food and Drug Regulations – Part G (FDR – Part G). More information is available on the Health Canada website. This provided the perfect opportunity for pharmacy technicians to provide detailed comments on what the proposed amendments should be. A small group of members including, Jennifer Bean, Melissa Fingas, Teresa Hennessey, Morgan Lahl, and Roxine Yong reviewed the legislation to identify what needed to change. The board and advocacy committee then drafted a response to the consultation that focused on identifying the necessary changes so that pharmacy technicians are authorized to fulfill roles we are qualified to perform, such as destructing unusable controlled drugs and accepting verbal prescriptions. We also took the opportunity to share our support of changes that would recognize pharmacists as prescribers.  Click here to read the full consultation response.

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