Pharmacy Audits

Pharmacists have been facing increased practice audits. You can read more in this Vancouver Sun article about Pharmacist audits.

One element of these audits is the issue of “prescriber errors and omissions”.

As a result the BC Pharmacy Association is working with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, the College of Pharmacists of BC and the ministry.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons reminds registrants that the details required of a “valid” prescription are:

  • the name and address of the patient
  • the name of the drug or ingredients and strength if applicable
  • the quantity of the drug
  • the dosage instructions, including the frequency, interval or maximum daily dose
  • refill authorization if applicable, including the number of refills and interval between refills
  • the name, identification and signature of the practitioner for written prescriptions

On a related note . . .

The BC College of Pharmacists notes that:
“Electronic prescriptions are only permitted if the electronic prescriber’s signature is unique. Health Canada considers a unique electronic signature to be equivalent to a paper and pen signature. Therefore the signature must be a fresh new signature written on the prescription with an electronic pen pad, similar to signing a pen and paper prescription.”

The College of Physicians and Surgeons notes that it:
“has received complaints that some physicians have told pharmacies that they will send their (invalid) prescriptions to another pharmacy that agrees to accept them. This is at best probably futile, in that once the other pharmacy has been audited and fined, they will also refuse to collaborate. However, this College would consider such action to be unprofessional behaviour towards our pharmacist colleagues.”

Read more about electronic signatures