Update on EpiPen

Please see the following information communicated by Health Canada regarding the EpiPen shortage issue.

Key messages:

  • The Minister of Health has signed an Interim Order that will facilitate the import of AUVI-Q epinephrine auto-injectors into Canada as an emergency measure in response to the ongoing shortages of EpiPen (0.3 mg) and EpiPen Jr (0.15 mg).
  • AUVI-Q is marketed by Kaléo in the U.S. and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is comparable to Allerject, another Kaléo epinephrine auto-injector product that is authorized, but not currently marketed, in Canada.
  • Due to urgent need, AUVI-Q 0.3 mg will be available for order from McKesson Canada by the end of the week of August 27 (For contact information see Healthcare Professional Letter below). AUVI-Q 0.15 mg may be made available as required, depending on need and product availability.
  • Both EpiPen and AUVI-Q deliver the same labelled dose of epinephrine. However, unlike EpiPen, AUVI-Q has a retractable needle as well as an electronic voice instruction system. (Currently, this is available in English only.)
  • Pharmacists are reminded to:
    • Review the AUVI-Q product information with patients or caregivers. (English and French prescribing information, patient information, instructions for use, and trainer instructions are available at: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/drug-products/announcements.html)
    • Distribute Patient Instructions for Use with each dispensed AUVI-Q auto-injector.
    • Use their discretion to conserve supply, as AUVI-Q is packaged such that each box contains 2 auto-injectors plus a trainer device (i.e., opening packages and dispensing single auto-injectors as necessary).
  • Health Canada continues to work closely with suppliers, the provinces and territories, and stakeholders to help minimize the impact of this shortage on Canadians, with the goal of achieving an adequate, consistent and sustainable supply of authorized epinephrine auto-injectors in Canada as soon as possible.

Please also see the following links for additional information:

Pharmacists with prescribing authority are reminded that they can help their patients manage this switch by prescribing the new product (as a Schedule II medication) or by adapting a patient’s existing prescription.


NLPB Launches Online Learning Portal

This past week, the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board launched its online learning portal with two Standards of Practice Orientation Programs – An Orientation to Prescribing by Pharmacists in Newfoundland and Labrador and An Orientation to the Standards for the Safe and Effective Provision of Opioid Agonist Maintenance Treatment. The intention is to add other programs and learning opportunities to the portal over time.

In order to access these programs, visit https://learn.nlpb.ca/ to create an account. Once your account has been created and approved, click on “Available Courses” to select a program to complete.

Once the program is completed, print your certificate of completion and follow the usual processes to apply for authorization, if required.

If you have questions about the NLPB Online Learning Portal, please email learn@nlpb.ca


Proof of Continuous Insurance Coverage

In accordance with provincial legislation and the NLPB Policy – Professional Liability Insurance Requirements for Registration, all NLPB registrants are required to provide proof of continuous professional liability insurance coverage. Each year, when you renew your policy, you must upload an electronic copy of your new insurance certificate once you receive it. For instructions on how to do this, please click on the link How to Upload Documents.

If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact Aileen O’Keefe, NLPB Registration and Licencing Administrator at 753-5877, ext 201.


The Provincial Opioid Dependence Treatment Working Group – Pharmacists’ Survey

As a part of “Towards Recovery: An Action Plan for Mental Health and Addictions in Newfoundland and Labrador”, a provincial Opioid Dependence Treatment Working Group was formed to improve access to treatment and harm reduction services. This working group is conducting a survey with pharmacists given the key role they play in the provision of opioid agonist maintenance treatment (OAMT). The purpose of this survey is to explore the views of pharmacists regarding the provision of OAMT services and to seek suggestions for potential solutions to increase access, address existing issues, and enhance capacity for OAMT.

The anonymous survey will take approximately 5 – 10 minutes to complete. Participation in the survey is voluntary and all responses will be kept confidential. To participate, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YFQPB6X.


National Pharmacare Online Consultation

The Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare is leading a national consultation on how to implement affordable national pharmacare for Canadians and their families, employers and governments. If you are interested in participating in this consultation, visit https://www.letstalkhealth.ca/pharmacare


Atlantic Mentorship Network-Pain & Addiction – The Prescribing Course-Safe Opioid Prescribing

The Atlantic Mentorship Network-Pain & Addiction will be offering The Prescribing Course-Safe Opioid Prescribing on November 4, 2018 at the Glynmill Inn in Corner Brook.

This is a one day workshop covering all aspects of opioid prescribing. Topics include:

  • Opioid prescribing – risk assessment, opioid dosing, rotation and tapering
  • Monitoring – urine drug testing and aberrant behaviors
  • Management of side effects
  • Special topics include:
    • The adopted patient
    • Prescribing for the elderly
    • Prescribing for travel
    • Maintaining boundaries
  • A quick reference and a number of tools designed for everyday use

To learn more and register, visit the event website.


Check Your Contact Information – And Your Email!

Registrants are asked to ensure that the contact information they provide for themselves is accurate at all times, particularly their practice site and email address. The NLPB primarily uses email communication to send newsletters, renewal reminders, professional development audit notices, and other alerts. If the email address on file is incorrect, important information may be missed and/or, potentially, disclosed to the wrong person. Additionally, registrants are reminded to check their email on a regular basis so that important notices do not go unread.

Pharmacists-in-charge are further reminded that they are responsible for keeping the pharmacy’s profile current and up-to-date and should ensure that the pharmacy’s email account is checked at least daily.

If your contact information changes at any time, please be sure to update your file with your new contact information as soon as possible by logging into the Registrant Portal, linked above.


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 www.nlpb.ca 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