As of Jan. 1 Masset’s only pharmacy may be closing its doors. The College of Pharmacists of B.C. have advised all BC Telepharmacy operators that operations must be staffed by a registered pharmacy technician by the first day of 2016. Without a registered technician the Masset pharmacy will have to close. The pharmacy operates on a telepharmacy style, which are licensed pharmacies that allow for the special provision of pharmacy services to residents of rural communities, without a pharmacist on site. A small group of telepharmacy operators have been in contact with the College of Pharmacists to try and bring sense of the reasoning to strictly and swiftly enforce this change.
Registered technicians are a newly regulated profession in Canada, of which there is a shortage in B.C. Becoming registered as a pharmacy technician requires advanced training from specific academic programs. In a letter to stakeholders from Pharmasave Telepharmacy, the parent pharmacy to Masset’s, spokesperson Alan Williamson stated that without a registered technician, the remote Pharmasave telepharmacy will close and the community’s current level of access to safe and trusted pharmacy care, including access the medications provided, will end.
“The college is accountable for ensuring that the public receives safe pharmacy care. Your Pharmasave telepharmacy has always provided local residents with safe and responsible pharmacy care and had been a significant contributor to health care in your area,” Mr. Williamson said in his letter. The College of Pharmacists of B.C. which is the licensing and regulator body of pharmacies in the province, did not respond to an interview request by press time.