CPhM Council has extended the exemption to Section 2.4 of the Prescribing Practice Direction, which requires that a pharmacist conduct an in-person or face-to-face patient assessment. The exemption permits a pharmacist to conduct a direct patient assessment via telephone, if appropriate, when a pharmacist is considering issuing a prescription within their scope of practice to a patient.
Council has extended this exemption indefinitely until a virtual care practice direction can be developed, approved, and implemented or until such a time that the exemption is re-evaluated and repealed by Council.
Although virtual care, including telephone prescribing assessments, provides an option for increased accessibility to health care services, it must be used/delivered in a supported manner to enhance and complement in-person patient care.
As CPhM endeavours to develop a practice direction to outline the expected standards for virtual care, pharmacists are reminded that professional judgement is required to ensure a phone assessment is indicated and appropriate. Pharmacists must continue to meet all requirements as described in The Pharmaceutical Act, Pharmaceutical Regulation, and the Prescribing and Prescribing and Dispensing Practice Directions. Pharmacists are further reminded of the expectations within the Virtual Patient Care and Ensuring Patient Safety in Pharmacy Practice Position Statement.