Friday Five (May 27, 2022)

This week's publication includes Important COVID-19 Treatment Updates from Shared Health, a new listing on the pharmacy public register, and a request for interest in becoming the Pharmacy Technician Liaison to Council

Important COVID-19 Treatment Updates from Shared Health 

Community Pharmacy Dispensation of Paxlovid  

Effective May 20, 2022, participating community pharmacies began dispensing Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir & ritonavir) and the centralized referral for access to Paxlovid will be discontinued. A list of participating pharmacies in communities across Manitoba is available here:  

To ensure equitable access to treatment, a valid Manitoba Health card/coverage will not be required by clients accessing publicly-funded Paxlovid.  

Centralized referral for Remdesivir remains in place. An updated referral form is available here:  

As health providers with extensive knowledge regarding medications and in particular, medication interactions, pharmacists reviewing prescriptions for Paxlovid are strongly encouraged to not only flag medication interactions but also to make treatment recommendations to support prescribers where a drug interaction with Paxlovid is identified, including recommendations to hold or modify the dose of other medications, OR in the case of significant interaction, a recommendation not to proceed with Paxlovid therapy. 

  • New and updated documents and resources have been posted on the Shared Health website. The full memo on community pharmacy dispensation of Paxlovid is available here: 

Important COVID-19 Treatment Reminder for Transplant Recipients 

For solid organ transplant recipients with COVID-19, Transplant Manitoba recommends avoiding Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir & ritonavir), and instead choosing alternatives such as remdesivir. 

Ritonavir is known to have significant drug-drug interactions, including a strong inhibition of CYP3A4. The use of Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir & ritonavir) with patients who are on cyclosporine, tacrolimus or sirolimus leads to a significant rise in drug concentrations and can cause serious adverse outcomes. 

Please review the full memo on COVID-19 treatment reminder for transplant recipients, available here: 

CPhM Supports Access to Naloxone Through New Listing on the Pharmacy Public Register 

In a recent direct communication to community pharmacy managers across Manitoba, the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba (CPhM) asked that pharmacy managers declare and make public, if appropriate, the naloxone products that are available in their pharmacies. Across Canada, more than 26,000 people have died of opioid overdose/toxicity from 2016 to 2021 and during the first year of the pandemic, there was a 95 per cent increase in number of deaths[1]. In Manitoba, opioid overdose/toxicity deaths swelled to over 400 in 2021 (twice the historical average of 200)[2]

Naloxone is a life-saving drug that has reversed thousands of overdoses in Canada[3]. Access to Naloxone is critical to preserving the lives hundreds of Manitobans and your pharmacy has a role to play. 

Community stakeholders have identified that there is a lack of reliable information to direct community members who wish to purchase naloxone. This is especially true in the case of naloxone nasal spray. 

The process to add a pharmacy to the list of pharmacies that have naloxone for sale was included in the direct communication to community pharmacy managers. 

The Pharmacy Public Register will serve as a central directory for community members and service providers to find community pharmacies that sell naloxone products.  

A listing of service providers that offer free injectable naloxone kits is still available through Street Connections. If your pharmacy would like to participate in the Take-Home Naloxone Distribution Program to distribute free naloxone to the public, please visit:  

For additional resources to support pharmacy staff and patients during the sale or administration of naloxone, please see the Naloxone category of the Resource Library. 





Pharmacy Technician Liaison to Council 

The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba (the College) is looking for an individual to fill the role of Pharmacy Technician Liaison to Council.

Council is the governing body of the College and conducts business consistent with the Pharmaceutical Act. This includes approving the programs, assessments, examinations and work experience required for qualification of pharmacy technicians.

The Pharmacy Technician Liaison is a voluntary position that is open to pharmacy technicians listed or soon to be listed with the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba.  As with other liaison members, the Pharmacy Technician Liaison is a non-voting member to Council.

If you are interested in the Pharmacy Technician Liaison position on Council, please return an expression of interest, along with your current CV, to by no later than June 10, 2022. Please contact should you have any questions regarding this opportunity.

2020-2021 Annual Learning Portfolio Review 

As valuable health professionals, pharmacists are accountable to the patients they care for by ensuring their knowledge and skills are kept up-to-date and they remain competent to practice. One of the ways that pharmacists, like other professionals, ensure their competence to practice is by being involved in professional development (PD).   

This year the College reviewed 318 learning portfolios during the 2020-2021 Annual Learning Portfolio Review. Thank you to all the pharmacists who participated in this year’s Annual Learning Portfolio Review.  

Some common deficiencies were identified that others may benefit from reviewing: 

Annual Mandatory CPD Module 

  • The statement of participation for the mandatory annual PD module, “Pause Before You Post: Social Media Module”, was not maintained.  

Pharmacy Technician Accredited Learning 

  • Pharmacists claimed learning activities accredited for pharmacy technicians only (e.g., “Tech Talk” programs) as accredited time. These activities are only accredited for pharmacy technicians and can be identified if the CCCEP accreditation numbers end in “T.”  

Preceptorship Hours  

  • Preceptor hours were claimed when there was no new learning or too many hours were claimed without proper, detailed documentation of the learning/research activities. 

CPR and First Aid Certification 

  • Too many hours were claimed for CPR and First Aid Training. Pharmacists may only claim CEU for the actual number of hours attended excluding breaks. For example, if an 8-hour course was attended, but there was an hour lunch break and two 15-minute breaks, pharmacists can only claim 6.5 CEU.  

Incomplete or Inaccurate Submissions  

  • PD Logs were not accurate and contained learning completed in a different year. Some of the submissions were incomplete, the wrong PD Log was provided, and statements of participation were missing. Statements and transcripts without a name or other identifier were submitted with no way to verify who completed the learning activity.  

 CPhM Committee Service 

The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba (CPhM) has both statutory and standing committees. The role of statutory committees is to carry out legislated duties; the role of standing committees is to support the work of Council. 

Those interested in becoming a committee member with CPhM are encouraged to view the information available on the website and submit a Committee Expression of Interest form

Upcoming Events and Professional Development Opportunities 

ISMP Canada Medication Safety Workshops:

Patient Safety Incident Analysis and Proactive Risk Assessment Workshop for Health Care Professionals 

 June 16-17, 2022 

Register here.

Multi-Incident Analysis and Medication Safety Culture Assessment Virtual Workshop 

June 2-3, & October 1-2, 2022 

Register here

Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians Professional Development Virtual Conference  

May 29, 2022 

Register here