Friday Five (February 19, 2021)

This week's Friday Five includes COVID-19 vaccination updates, a new Safety IQ resource , and pharmacy technician information

Suicide Prevention 

The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba (College) attends monthly Adult Inquest Review Committee meetings at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office to review unnatural deaths in the province. Although the College focuses on trends of deaths that may have involved prescription drugs like opioids and other drugs of abuse, there is another prominent trend of suicides.  

According to a report from Manitoba Health and Seniors Care (Annual Statistics 2018 – 2019), from 2013/2014 to 2017/2018: 

  • there were 1,064 deaths due to suicide among Manitoba residents, representing a rate of 1.8 deaths per 10,000 population age ten and older; 
  • the Northern Health Region is overrepresented with suicide rates significantly higher than Manitoba overall at 4.7 deaths per 10,000 population age 10 and older;  
  • on average, there were about 213 suicides per year during this period of time, and; 
  • the rate for suicide by males was higher than females for all age groups, with the exception of ages 10 to 19 during this period time. 

Every suicide is a tragedy, and pharmacists are well-positioned to play an important role in suicide prevention. Although several social and biological factors are involved, engaging patients and their loved ones in conversations about their mental health and well-being can help in assessing suicide risk.   

Pharmacists are encouraged to review the following resources to learn more about assessing suicide risk and communicating with patients who may be at risk: 


Pharmacy Technician Practice Hour Requirement 

Pharmacy technicians are required to work a minimum of 600-practice hours in the preceding three-year period, starting three years after the date they were first listed, to maintain their listing as a pharmacy technician with the College. The pharmacy manager must document these practice hours as part of the pharmacy technician’s performance review.  

Pharmacy technicians who have been listed for three or more years will need to declare that they have met the practice hour requirement upon renewal in May 2021. If the pharmacy technician will not have enough practice hours, please email Brittany Delaquis with a summary of the situation.   

The 600-practice hours minimum in the preceding three-year period must go beyond a pharmacy assistant’s duties to encompass the pharmacy technician scope of practice. These practice hours do not need to include performing a final check of a prescription but need to include other technician tasks as outlined in the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Regulation. Hours worked as a pharmacy assistant do not qualify under section 61(1) of the Pharmaceutical Regulation.  

Please refer to the 2021 Pharmacy Technician Resource Guide for information on pharmacy technician renewal requirements. 


Safety IQ Update: New Training Resources 

The goal of Safety IQ is to foster a culture of open communication and discussion of medication incidents and near-miss events in which managers and staff work together to amend their processes and procedures to prevent errors or error recurrence. 

In addition to other Safety IQ resources, pharmacy staff can view the video presentation, Introduction to Safety IQ for Community Pharmacies, recently posted on the College website. This video is similar to the Safety IQ sessions presented at local conferences in the fall of 2020. 

Once your pharmacy has subscribed to a medication incident reporting platform, staff should begin training on how to report medication incidents and near-miss events. The Safety IQ Medication Incident Reporting Platform Criteria requires reporting platforms to provide online training modules for all pharmacy staff. Managers and pharmacy staff should also discuss the process for reporting, including when, how and who is reporting, and what types of near-miss events will be beneficial to report. 


Summer Student Job Opportunity 

The College has an exciting summer job opportunity for a pharmacy student. We are looking for someone who is passionate about patient safety and is keen to contribute to exciting patient safety initiatives at the College. Join our skilled team of pharmacists and help further your career in pharmacy.  

Please read the job posting for more information.   

Submit an application on or before Friday, February 25, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. to Lindsay Henderson, Executive Assistant,


Webinar: Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Vaccination Panel 

Pharmacists Manitoba is pleased to be hosting a Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Vaccination Panel in partnership with the Manitoba Government and the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba. 

Dr. Joss Reimer, Medical Lead with the provincial Vaccine Implementation Task Force, and Mr. Joe Funk, senior provincial official overseeing the launch of clinic-based immunization will lead a presentation focused on the immunization campaign and distribution model.  

A live Q & A panel will follow the presentation featuring Dr. Reimer and Mr. Joe Funk, Deputy Team Lead – Distributed Channel Workstream, Inga Hossack, BSc., Policy Analyst, Communicable Disease Control, Pharmacists Manitoba President, Pawandeep Sidhu, and President of the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba, Wendy Clark.  

Date: February 25, 2021 

Time: 6:00 p.m. 

 In advance of the Webinar, you can submit your questions for the panel when you register. 

 To register, click here 

 The panel will be recorded and circulated at a later date if you are unable to attend the live event. 


Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) COVID-19 Resources  

  1. PHAC has developed two new tool kits: 

  COVID-19 Vaccination Tool Kit for Health Care Providers.  

  • You can use this tool kit as a quick resource to help your patients and colleagues make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination by sharing credible information and resources with them. 
  • Within the tool kit, you will find links to general information about COVID-19, an overview of authorized vaccines, guidance for managing COVID-19 vaccination clinics, an overview of vaccine safety, as well as a number of additional resources such as digital tools, communication materials, and provincial/territorial specific resources. 

COVID-19 Vaccines communication tool kit for Indigenous communities.  

  • A separate communication toolkit has also been shared with Indigenous communities. Updated on a regular basis, it provides a variety of communication resources and information for community leaders to share, as well as guidance for creating tailored messages.

    2. PHAC Webinar for Health Care Providers: Foundations on COVID-19 Vaccines, hosted by the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID).
  • This foundational webinar is specific for allied, new and returning Health Care Providers (HCPs) who will be administering COVID-19 vaccines. It will provide information about the vaccine regulatory authorization from Health Canada, guidance developed by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) that informs the Canadian Immunization Guide, and information on COVID-19 vaccine technologies. A live Questions and Answer session will follow each presentation. 
  • English Session: February 23, 2021, 1pm-3:00pm EST – Register: Click here 
  • French Session: February 26, 2021, 1pm-3:00pm EST – Register: Click here 

The webinar will be recorded and available on the NCCID website immediately following the event here


NABP Opens 2021 District V Study Grant Competition

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)/ American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) (US) District V has announced that the study grant competition is now open for 2021. The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba (College) is a longstanding member of the District V of NABP/AACP.

District V of NABP/AACP will provide grant money, not to exceed US $3,000 per grant, to award two grants within the district to study topics which benefit students, pharmacy education, or pharmacy practice. Topics of interest to the Boards and Colleges in District V are suggested, but researchers will not be limited to these topics. Date of completion must be prior to the August 2022 District Five NABP/AACP Annual Meeting in South Dakota, so that the results can be presented there.

The deadline for submissions is May 28, 2021. For more information, please see the study grant announcement: