The Role of the Pharmacist When Dispensing Prescription Refills

Pharmacists are reminded that even when a pharmacy technician is performing the final technical check, pharmacists remain responsible for assessing the therapeutic/clinical appropriateness of drug therapy. This responsibility must be met for all prescriptions; whether new or refill. A prescription CANNOT be released to a patient without a pharmacist having performed this assessment as well as provided counselling, as appropriate.

This responsibility is outlined in section 3.1 of the Standards of Pharmacy Operation – Community Pharmacy , which states that before a prescription is dispensed or a Schedule II medication is provided to a patient, it is the pharmacist’s responsibility to review the patient profile and patient medication profile and to take appropriate action, where applicable, with respect to:

  • appropriateness of drug therapy;
  • drug interactions;
  • allergies, intolerances or adverse drug reactions;
  • therapeutic duplication;
  • correct dosage, route, frequency and duration of administration and dosage form;
  • contraindicated drugs;
  • patient adherence issues; and
  • any other potential drug-related problems.

Similar, but slightly different, wording is included in section 3.3 of the Standards of Pharmacy Operation – Hospital Pharmacy.

This responsibility is further described in sections 1.11-1.14 of the Standards of Practice for Canadian Pharmacists, which states:

Pharmacists, when providing patient care as part of the care provided when dispensing medications or medication therapies:

  • 1.11 assess the appropriateness of providing a refill of a medication requested by a patient by collecting and interpreting relevant patient information to ensure:
    • there are no significant drug interactions, contraindications or adverse effects, and
    • the medication is still required, and
    • the dose and instructions for use of the medication are correct, and
    • that the patient is receiving appropriate monitoring for this medication and disease.
  • 1.12 manage patient’s requests for refills of medications which pose risks to the patient by:
    • making changes to the prescription in accordance with authorities granted to pharmacists by laws / regulations / policies / guidelines, and/or
    • contacting a prescriber to recommend changes in the prescription, and/or
    • refusing to dispense the medication.
  • 1.13 assess patient’s compliance when providing refills for medications for treatment of chronic disease.
  • 1.14 address problems with compliance that pose risks to the patient or can affect the efficacy of the medication by:
    • educating the patient, and
    • making changes to their medications and/or medication therapies in accordance with authorities granted to pharmacists by laws / regulations / policies / guidelines, or
    • contacting a prescriber to recommend changes in therapy.

NL Pharmacy Board Awards – Call for Nominations

Nominations are now open for the NLPB Certificate of Recognition and Patient Safety Award. Details on the awards and a copy of the Nomination Form can be found at

These awards, along with the Emerald Achievement Awards recognizing NLPB registrants who have practiced pharmacy for at least 35 years, will be presented at the NL Pharmacy Board Awards Luncheon, taking place on May 12, 2018 during the NLPB Symposium.

The deadline to send in your nominations is March 9, 2018. Please consider nominating a fellow pharmacist or pharmacy technician today!

NLPB Symposium – Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2018 NLPB Symposium, to be held at the Comfort Inn Airport in St. John’s on Saturday, May 12, 2018. The day will include the 2018 Annual General Meeting, a Professional Development Program, an Open Forum, and will end with the NL Pharmacy Board Awards Luncheon.

Registrants are invited to join us in:

  • gaining knowledge and sharing experiences during our Professional Development programs and Open Forum;
  • hearing about the Board’s activities over the past year during the Board’s Annual General Meeting; and
  • celebrating our colleagues’ accomplishments at the NLPB Awards Luncheon.

Preliminary Schedule of Events
8:00 – 9:00 am Check-In (with Continental Breakfast)
9:00 – 10:45 am Professional Development Program – To Be Announced
10:45 – 11:00 am Break
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Open Forum
12:00 – 1:00 pm Annual General Meeting
1:00 – 2:00 pm NLPB Awards Luncheon

To register for the symposium, click on “Registrant Login” on the main menu, log in using your username and password, and click the blue “Events” button located at the top of the Member Home screen. Once there, click on “View Upcoming Events” and then “NL Pharmacy Board Symposium” to complete the registration process.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Update on Nurse Practitioners’ Authority to Prescribe Buprenorphine-Naloxone and Methadone

In October 2017, the Council of the Association of Registered Nurses of NL (ARNNL) approved changes to the Nurse Practitioner scope of practice, permitting those Nurse Practitioners who have met specific practice and education requirements to prescribe buprenorphine-naloxone and methadone.

Subsequently, on February 5, 2018, ARNNL granted the first Nurse Practitioner authority to prescribe buprenorphine-naloxone. Information regarding which Nurse Practitioners have been granted authority to prescribe these medications will be available through ARNNL’s Member Search.

At this time, no Nurse Practitioners have been granted the authority to prescribe methadone as ARNNL is awaiting a section 56 exemption from Health Canada. A further update will be provided regarding Nurse Practitioner authority to prescribe methadone when the section 56 exemption is granted.

Forgot Your Password?

From the main menu, click Registrant Login. Under the Login box, click the message that says, “Forgot your password? Click here to restore it.”

On the next screen, enter your NLPB username if you know it, or the email address on your file. Click Retrieve. In a few minutes you will receive an email with your username and password. Once you’re logged in to your profile you are able to change your password if desired.

NLPB Receipts

NLPB’s registration portal maintains all receipts created by the system. If for any reason you need a copy of your paid invoice, you can log in anytime by visiting and clicking on Registrant Login. Once logged in, click on the link called Renewal Other/Invoices and then select either view or print.

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.

©2018 Newfoundland & Labrador Pharmacy Board