Friday Five (September 4, 2020)

This week's edition of the Friday Five is now available.

College Announces Official Safety IQ Launch Date

The College was pleased to announce the official launch date for Safety IQ, June 1, 2021, in the Summer 2020 Newsletter. The following short video offers an overview of Safety IQ and what you can expect from this innovative initiative to improve patient safety in community pharmacies:

Be sure to review the Summer 2020 Newsletter article for full details:


Register for the Medical Examiners PD Event 

The College is pleased to announce it’s second Medical Examiner Professional Development event titled “Safety Matters: Trends and Learnings from the Medical Examiner

WHEN: Tuesday, September 29, 2020, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.


*This a virtual event ONLY, and is free to attend for pharmacists and pharmacy staff

**Deadline to register is September 28th at 4:30pm

ACCREDITATION: Accreditation pending.

Dr. Christine Leong, B.Sc. (Gen), B.Sc. (Pharm), Pharm.D.
Dr. James M. Bolton, MD
Dr. Shawn Bugden, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.Sc. (Pharm), M.Sc., Pharm.D.
Dr. Jamison Falk, B.Sc. (Pharm.), Pharm.D.



  • Understand the demographic profiles of individuals dying by overdose in Manitoba
  • Learn of the substances involved in overdoses, both pharmaceutical and other
  • Investigate dispensing patterns that contribute to the risk of overdose deaths
  • Examine the risk versus benefit of specific psychoactive medications, including combination of medications
  • Develop strategies for risk identification and safer dispensing practices for patients who may be at risk of overdose
  • Discuss how the Manitoba Opioid Atlas was developed and is maintained
  • Identify trends in opioid use and consumption over time in Manitoba, and current trends to keep an eye on
  • Determine how the atlas can be used by regulators, policy makers, and clinicians


Health Canada’s – Prescription cough and cold products containing opioids NOT indicated for those under 18 years of age

In February 2019, Health Canada published a summary safety review of cough and cold products containing opioids and recommended that people under 18 years of age should not use cough and cold products that contain opioids (including codeine).

On August 24, 2020, Health Canada issued a notice that prescription cough and cold products containing codeine, hydrocodone or normethadone are NOT indicated for use in children and adolescents (younger than 18 years of age) as the benefits of symptomatic treatment of cough do not outweigh risks of opioid use.

Healthcare professionals are being advised to avoid prescribing products containing opioids for treatment of cough and cold in patients younger than 18 years of age. Patients, parents and caregivers should be counselled that cough due to cold or upper respiratory infections is self-limited and generally does not need to be treated.  Use of non-opioid alternatives should be considered in children and adolescents for whom cough treatment is necessary. Click on the link to the notice for further information.

​Health Canada continues to work with the affected manufacturers to include this new safety information in their respective Canadian Product Monographs (CPMs).

A Friday Five article on August 7, 2020, discussed the notice from Health Canada advising that those under the age of 18 should not use non-prescription pain relievers that contain codeine.


Reminder: Checking DPIN records for all patients receiving any narcotic, controlled, or targeted substances

The College has been made aware of a patient claiming to not have a Manitoba Personal Health Information Number (PHIN) when obtaining prescriptions for controlled substances. When the pharmacist checked with DPIN to verify, it was determined that this patient had a valid PHIN. It was discovered that the patient had gone to multiple pharmacies obtaining prescriptions and because he claimed to not have a PHIN, there was no generation of MY or MZ codes which would have flagged the pharmacists filling his prescriptions.

Pharmacists are reminded that they must conduct a Drug Programs Information Network (DPIN) history search for patients receiving any narcotic, controlled, or targeted substances if the patient is new to the pharmacy. DPIN should be contacted to confirm if the first name, last name, and date of birth are assigned a PHIN.

In addition, pharmacists are encouraged to verify a patient’s DPIN profile, as required, when filling a prescription for any medication to check for interactions or limited dispensing frequency.  Checking a patient’s DPIN profile should always be part of the process when accepting a transfer from another pharmacy.