Thursday, February 09, 2006

A MESSAGE FROM BC PHARMACISTS FOR CONSCIENCE
By Cristina Alarcon, Pharmacist

I have just been informed by a reliable source at the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia that the current by-prescription-only status ( be it by a physician or a pharmacist) of the Morning after Pill (Plan B) will most likely change to a schedule II status. This proposal was made at the January 20th College meeting. The minutes of this meeting should be available on-line within the next couple of weeks at:

http://www.bcpharmacists.org/resources/councilcommittees/council/#top

Schedule II status basically means that the product would be available behind the counter, just as baby aspirin or iron pills would be, and requires minimal counselling by the pharmacist before being dispensed. See this on-line at:

http://www.bcpharmacists.org/legislation/pdf/Drug_Schedules_Regulation.pdf

It is of interest that pharmacists are not even allowed to give out hemorrhoidal suppositories without a physician's prescription, yet when it comes to potent steroids that may cause imbalances in a woman's body- well, that appears to be a different story.

The College of Pharmacists will need to make its recommendations to the provincial government, who will then most likely approve the change to the status of Plan B.

Although I never approved of pharmacists being allowed to prescribe this product to begin with, the change in status means that there will be virtually no control as to who can obtain the product, nor as to how many times it will be used by the same person. There is also a growing hostility, as is told by recent media stories, towards pharmacists who are "asking too many sensitive questions" before giving out this seemingly very safe product -yet no one scolds us for asking sensitive questions when we dispense anti-diarrheals. Seemingly, this product is of a different category, and so it appears that it needs to be treated in a special manner. ie. made readily accesible by robot pharmacists who will ask no questions. If certain interest groups are asking for this product to be treated in this special manner, could it be that deep down, we all know that it is not really doing what it is purported to do?

If you believe as I do that this move by the College is not a wise one, (for the good of women, of children, and of society), then please contact the College at:

http://www.bcpharmacists.org/contacts/

COLLEGE OF PHARMACISTS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

200-1765 West 8th AvenueVancouver, BC V6J 5C6

Tel: 604.733.2440 or 800.663.1940
Fax: 604.733.2493 or 800.377.8129

E-mail: info@bcpharmacists.org

Don't know who to ask for? Our receptionist will find the best person.

CENTREBLOG: Volume 112
Cristina Alarcon ©