Friday Five (June 26, 2020)

This week's edition of the Friday Five.

New Professional Development Module “Pause Before You Post: Social Media Awareness”

The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba (College) has worked in collaboration with seven other regulators from the Manitoba Alliance of Health Regulatory Colleges (MAHRC) to develop an educational Professional Development (PD) module on social media and professionalism. The module is titled “Pause Before You Post: Social Media Awareness” and it is now available on the member homepage for all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to complete.

As recommended by the Quality Assurance Committee, Council passed a motion earlier this year requiring all Manitoba pharmacists and technicians to complete a yearly mandatory PD module. “Pause Before You Post: Social Media Awareness” serves as the first mandatory module.

All pharmacists are required to complete this module before October 31st, 2021, and all pharmacy technicians are required to complete it before May 31st, 2021 in order to be eligible for the 2022 licence/listing renewal.

The module has been accredited by the College for up to 1.50 CEU and must be claimed in the PD year the module was completed.

To access the module, please follow these steps:

  • Log into your pharmacist/technician member homepage at:
  • On the member homepage, scroll down to “My Professional Development”.
  • Click on “Pause Before You Post: Social Media Awareness” to launch and view the module.
  • When completed, enter your name and license or certificate number on the Statement of Participation, print/save it, and keep it in your PD portfolio.

If you have questions, please contact the College at

Levetiracetam Suspension

In the past, Levetiracetam suspension had been compounded by pharmacists because there was no commercially manufactured product available.  Recently, a commercially available product has been introduced to the market.  According to Health Canada’s Policy on Manufacturing and Compounding Drug Products in Canada (POL-0051), pharmacists should only compound a drug product if there is no supply of the product available commercially. Compounding a commercially available product is considered manufacturing.

Pharmacists are therefore required to dispense the commercially available product and must not compound levetiracetam suspension if the commercial product is available.  Pharmacists are reminded to submit claims for levetiracetam suspension to Manitoba Health in accordance with the notice sent to pharmacies by Manitoba Health on June 23, 2020. [link]


POL-0051 :


Health Canada Regulatory Changes on the Distribution of Drugs as Samples

Health Canada has made regulatory changes regarding the distribution of samples of Non-Prescription Drugs (NPDs) and Natural Health Products (NHPs).

Effective July 1, 2020:

  1. NPDs and NHPs found on List A and List D may be distributed as samples without a signed order to:
    • Pharmacists (for further distribution to their patients within their scope of practice)
    • Practitioners (for further distribution to their patients within their scope of practice)
    • General public (anyone over the age of 18)

The drug samples distributed must not expire within the next 30 days and must meet all other regulatory requirements (e.g. labelling, reporting adverse events, etc.).

The lists of NPDs and NHPs (List A and List D) are mainly restricted to toothpastes, sunscreens, medicated skin care products, etc., and they can be distributed by a retailer, individual, or organization to anyone over the age of 18.  The distributing organization/retailer must have an individual over the age of 18 that is available to answer questions on the sample products (e.g. benefits, risks, proper directions for use).

Note that the age restriction in place for distributing these sample products directly to the public, does not apply to practitioners or pharmacists further distributing drugs to their patients.

As well, it is important to note that prescription drug samples continue to require signed orders by pharmacists and practitioners who have the authority to prescribe these drug products and they cannot be distributed directly to the general public by industry. Drug samples of narcotics, controlled substances, and prescription drugs containing cannabis are prohibited.

  1. The definition of a “practitioner” previously included only physicians, dentists, veterinary surgeons and pharmacists. This definition has now been expanded to include anyone who meets the definition of a practitioner in the federal Food and Drug Regulations (entitled under that province to treat patients with prescription drugs).

For more information, visit the Health Canada website here, and to request a copy of Health Canada’s Guidance Document on the Distribution of Drugs as Samples.

Interested in serving as the Pharmacy Technician Liaison to Council?

The College is currently accepting applications for the position of Pharmacy Technician Liaison to Council for the 2020 to 2022 Term.

Council is the governing body of the College which conducts the business affairs and exercises the rights, powers and privileges of the College in accordance with the Pharmaceutical Act. In this respect and in addition to other regulatory functions, Council has the responsibility to approve educational programs, examinations and internship/structured practical training requirements for the registration and licensing of pharmacists and the qualification of pharmacy technicians, approve licensing requirements for pharmacies and approve practice directions to ensure quality pharmacy practice in Manitoba.

As the Pharmacy Technician Liaison, you will serve the important role of bringing the perspective of a practising pharmacy technician to discussions held at Council Meetings. You will be responsible to attend a minimum of five one-day Council Meetings held throughout the year at which time you will participate in discussions and report on the issues at hand facing pharmacy technicians across the province.

The Pharmacy Technician Liaison is a voluntary, non-voting member position on Council.  All pharmacy technicians currently listed or soon-to-be listed with the College are eligible to apply.

If you are interested in applying for the Pharmacy Technician Liaison position on Council, please return an application form, along with your current CV, to Lindsay Henderson ( by no later than July 31, 2020. Please also feel free to contact Lindsay Henderson ( should you have any questions regarding this opportunity.