The Sale of Exempted Codeine Products in Community Pharmacies

In recent months, NLPB has been heavily communicating the revised Standard of Practice for The Sale of Exempted Codeine Products in Community Pharmacies that was updated in September 2016.

In light of recent questions and discussions during practice site assessments, registrants are reminded that as per Section 3.1 of the Standard, only a pharmacist may authorize the sale of an exempted-codeine product (ECP). Prior to authorizing the sale of an ECP, the pharmacist must personally consult with the patient to determine the appropriateness of the request. It is important that the patient assessment includes obtaining a complete medication history and checking the patient’s Pharmacy Network profile. Patient assessments related to an ECP request cannot be delegated to any other member of the pharmacy team.

After assessing the patient, the onus is on the pharmacist to refuse the sale of an ECP, and refer the patient to another health care provider, if it is determined that:

  • the condition or symptom(s) are chronic or serious in nature;
  • the ECP will inadequately treat the medical or dental reason for use; or
  • continued use of ECPs is not in the best interests of the patient.

If the sale of an ECP is authorized by the pharmacist, it must be fully documented in the patient’s medication profile, and the electronic health record via the Pharmacy Network, in accordance with section 3.5 of the SOPO-Community. It is critical that provision of an ECP to a patient is recorded accurately in the electronic health record using the patient’s MCP number so that other health professionals involved in the patient’s care can make informed decisions about the care they are providing.

Finally, while section 3.8 of the SOPO-Community requires pharmacists to provide education and counselling to patients only on the original filling of a prescription, due to the issues associated with the inappropriate use of ECPs, pharmacists are expected to consult with and counsel patients on each and every sale of an ECP.

To review the Standards in their entirety, please visit the Standards, Guidelines, and Policies page of the website.

Mandatory Patient Profile Information

Registrants are reminded that, in accordance with the Standards of Pharmacy Operation – Community Pharmacy, patient profiles MUST include all of the following information:

  • full name;
  • medical care plan (MCP) number; (Note – this is applicable for NL residents)
  • mailing and/or street address;
  • home and/or cell phone number, when available;
  • date of birth;
  • gender; and
  • documentation of any notable clinical conditions, allergies, intolerances or adverse drug reactions.

Message from the Francophone Health Network

Currently, there are 3,015 individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador who have French as their mother tongue. However, many factors limit access to health services in their first language, including lack of knowledge of French-speaking health professionals. In order to improve this problem, the Francophone Health Network has updated the Directory of French-speaking Health Professionals, which is available on the Francophone community website. If you would like to be included in the directory, please contact the Francophone Health Network at or at (709)757-2862.

James J. O’Mara Pharmacy Museum Now Open!

The James J. O’Mara Pharmacy Museum is now open for the 2017 summer season. Come in Monday to Friday 10:00am-4:00pm to learn and experience the old methods of our everyday pharmacies. Throughout the tour you will have a chance to see many historic artifacts, beginning in our front windows with our beautiful show globes, an old pharmacy practice which originated in the 19th century. Come in and see these elegant, ornate, one-of-a-kind pieces today!

I forgot my username and/or password. How do I recover it?

Click Registrant Login. Under “Forgot your Username/password, enter the email address associated with your profile. Your login information will be emailed to you shortly.

Once logged in, You can change your username and password to something easier for you to remember.

This e-newsletter contains information on a wide variety of topics intended to enhance the practice of pharmacy in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. As it is published and circulated to all registrants on a monthly basis, it is the expectation of the NLPB that all registrants are aware of the matters contained therein.

©2017 Newfoundland & Labrador Pharmacy Board