In the News

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This feature in Pharmacy Connection is a place to find information about news stories we’re following. Here, you’ll read summaries of recent stories relating to pharmacy in Ontario and Canada. For the latest updates, stay tuned to e-Connect and

Ontario passes legislation that will require the disclosure of payments made to healthcare professionals

The government of Ontario has passed legislation that will make Ontario the first province to require the medical industry, including pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, to publicly disclose payments made to healthcare professionals and organizations. The industry will need to report information on transfers of value, such as meals, hospitality, travel associated expenses, financial grants and fees paid for consulting or speaking events. The public will be able to search a database for this information. The date of proclamation of the Act has not yet been announced.

Updated labelling for prescription opioid products

Following recommendations from the Government of Canada’s Scientific Advisory Panel on Opioid Use and Contraindications, Health Canada has announced that it is working with manufacturers to update the Canadian labelling of all prescription opioid products. Changes include:

  • Recommendation for a daily threshold dose for management of chronic, non-cancer, non-palliative pain
  • Recommendation to limit quantity of opioids prescribed for acute pain
  • Clarification of warnings for special populations

The labelling for all prescription opioids is expected to be completed by January 2019.

Federal government proposes new MAiD monitoring system

The Canadian government has proposed new regulations that would require physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists to file reports when a patient requests medical assistance in dying (MAiD). The data collected through the reporting would be publicly reported in aggregate in order to promote transparency and accountability. At this time, the proposed regulations would require pharmacists to report every time they dispense drugs necessary for the procedure.

Reports released by the federal government so far have indicated that more than 2,000 Canadians have received MAiD, most of whom were between 56 and 85 years of age and suffering from terminal cancer. Consultation on the proposed regulations closed February 13, 2018.

Safe Access to Abortion Services Act came into effect February 1

The Safe Access to Abortion Services Act, intended to help protect the safety, security, health and privacy of persons accessing or providing abortion services, including mifegymiso, came into effect on February 1, 2018.

Under this legislation, requests may be made by pharmacies who are providing abortion services to establish safe access zones of up to 150 metres around the pharmacy. Prohibited activities within safe access zones include protests, physical interference or intimidation, recording patients or providers and advising a person to refrain from accessing abortion services.

In addition, safe access zones of 150 metres will be automatically established around the homes of “protected service providers,” including pharmacists.

Review the information provided regarding applying for a safe zone for a pharmacy.