Pharmacists in B.C. can now authorize prescription refills and renewals amid COVID-19. (Black Press Media files)

Should you stockpile medication during the pandemic? Experts say no

Canadian Pharmacist Association calls stockpiling “completely unnecessary”

As people stock up on groceries, toilet paper and cleaning supplies (despite being told not to) some are wondering if the hoarding mentality should apply to medication.

According to the Canadian Pharmacist Association (CPhA), pharmacists are becoming “increasingly mindful about the need to carefully manage our drug supply to weather” the long term impacts of the pandemic.

While there is no known shortage in Canada as of yet, patients stockpiling could exacerbate this problem.

In a statement, the CPhA said pharmacists across Canada are urging Canadians not to stockpile medication or request early refills unless absolutely necessary.

“These actions could create unintended drug shortages and put other patients’ health at risk,” reads the statement, adding that pharmacies are expected to remain open during the pandemic and they need to be able to “allocate medication equitably to all patients.”

READ ALSO: ‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Harj Samra, pharmacist and co-founder of PocketPills, an online pharmacy, says he expects a shortage of drugs to occur due to the fact that 80 per cent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) come from China.

“That’s a huge chunk of the actual ingredients that get made into tablets,” he says. “Canada and the U.S. have been getting their active ingredients from the European Union, we take a very small amount from China but as the rest of the world looks for outside sources, we believe that shortage is inevitable.”

READ ALSO: Don’t stockpile drugs, only recently expired prescriptions can be refilled, B.C. pharmacies say

Now, pharmacists across the country have been told to restrict prescriptions to a 30-day supply due to pandemic disrupting supply lines and threatening shortages of a variety of drugs.

Hans Bawa, owner of Fort Royal Pharmacy in Victoria, says she hasn’t noticed an uptick in people buying more medication than usual but that could be due to the one per customer buying limit the pharmacy has implemented.

CPhA recommends Canadians have non-prescription medication for colds, fever and allergies on hand but says stockpiling medication in large quantities is “completely unnecessary.”

Samra says that if a drug shortage did come into effect for pharmacists, they are able to intervene and substitute medication for a different brand of drug to ensure someone does not go with out medication.

“We have that ability to make those changes and if somebody was out of a particular medication, we can get something within the same class that has the same dose and change it over,” he says.

With files from Ashley Wadhwani



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Survivor compensated for Sixties Scoop

Meraw recently received compensation from the Sixties Scoop Settlement

Interim payments issued to survivors

Interim payments issued for claims made through Collectiva’s Class Action Sixties Scoop Settlement

Advocacy for Secwepemc language

Archie believes Secwepemc language learning can steer First Nation children toward a positive life

Pruden plans to step down

Pruden will not run as an incumbent for the Métis women’s chair during this year’s MNBC election

Sport camps to help youth become better overall athletes

Athletic camps for youth coming to valley this month

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. group renews call for protection of newly discovered glass sponge reefs

DFO says public consultation will play heavy role in future protection measures

Most Read