COVID-19: Information for Pharmacists
Updated: April 15, 2021
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is committed to working with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to ensure that pharmacists across Canada have the tools and resources to support their patients as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CPhA statement – Pharmacies across Canada underutilized; less than half included in vaccine rollout
- COVID-19 Tests in Canada (Reference tool)
- Pharmacy involvement in COVID vaccination
- COVID-19 Point-of-Care Testing
- COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy
- COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy: CPhA has compiled a list of credible resources to help you address vaccine hesitancy with your patients.
- COVID-19 Tests in Canada: Reference tool for pharmacists to understand and distinguish between approved COVID-19 testing methods and technologies. (April 14, 2021)
- Suggested Best Practices for Community Pharmacy: Providing Influenza Immunizations During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Working with its National Influenza Preparedness Working Group and informed by official guidance from the National Immunization Advisory Committee, CPhA has developed some suggested operational best practices to help community pharmacy plan for the upcoming influenza season. (September 10, 2020)
- Protecting the Front Line: COVID-19 Day-to-Day Questions: CPhA has created an FAQs resource to help pharmacists manage day-to-day questions about COVID-19 in their pharmacies. This information is meant to support policy, practice and clinical guidelines being developed across the country, and will answer key questions pharmacists may have when supporting their patients during the pandemic. The content will be updated regularly.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Suggested Best Practices for Pharmacies During the COVID-19 Pandemic: CPhA has updated its suggested best practices on the use of PPE by pharmacy staff. Changes include considerations for use of non-medical masks/cloth masks/cloth face coverings as a source control measure, additional clarity on applying point-of-care risk assessments to determine when and what PPE is required and the application of these PPE best practices for immunizations. (Updated May 29, 2020)
- Staffing and Business Considerations if a Pharmacy Team Member Becomes Ill: CPhA and the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada have developed a list of key considerations for pharmacy managers/owners to help them prepare for next steps if a pharmacy staff member is exposed to or infected with COVID-19. This document will help pharmacies prepare for staff reductions or store closures and offers guidance on staff reductions, self-assessment and connecting with local public health units.
- The COVID Conversations: CPhA's open access webinar series designed to support pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Webinar Recordings: Recent webinars include Preparing for Flu Season (NEW), Virtual Care, the Role of Pharmacy in Public and Population Health, Opioid Stewardship Under the New CDSA Exemptions, COVID-19 and the Global Experience, Supporting Pharmacists’ Mental Health and Wellness, A Day In the Life of Community Pharmacists During COVID-19, and more.
- Supporting Pharmacists’ Mental Health and Wellness During COVID-19: As pharmacists take on greater responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic they are also bearing additional physical and mental stresses as they continue to provide care to their patients. Based on our recent COVID Conversations webinar, this new practice tool encourages pharmacists to be aware of their own mental health and well being during these challenging times, and provides practical tips and links to additional resources on where to get support.
- What Can Pharmacists Do Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) During the COVID-19 Pandemic? CPhA developed a series of practice tools to support pharmacists in their role as opioid stewards, using real-life provincial examples to show how pharmacists can manage opioid-related prescriptions under current CDSA exemptions to better care for vulnerable patients (August 7, 2020).
- COVID-19 in Patients taking disease-modifying therapy for the management of multiple sclerosis: General considerations for management of patients with Multiple Sclerosis during COVID-19. (Updated February 25, 2021)
- Treatment of COVID-19 with colchicine: It is not known whether there is enough benefit from using colchicine in treating COVID-19 to outweigh the risks. Until more data are available, colchicine should be restricted to use in clinical trials enrolling patients diagnosed with COVID-19. (February 2, 2021)
- Treatment of COVID-19 with remdesivir: The antiviral drug remdesivir has recently been approved for treatment of COVID-19. CPhA has reviewed the literature available to date and has developed this document outlining current evidence. This document will be updated as new evidence becomes available. (Updated November 20, 2020)
- Treatment of COVID-19 with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine: There is insufficient evidence that chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine will prevent or treat COVID-19. Use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 should be restricted to use in clinical trials until more data are available. (Updated July 10, 2020)
- Open Access Content: COVID-19 Chapter: CPhA’s newest chapter, COVID-19, provides information for primary care practitioners on management of common symptoms such as fever, cough and headache as well as a summary of experimental treatments being used in acute-care settings. This content will be updated regularly as new evidence becomes available. (Updated June 25, 2020)
- Antiretroviral combinations: The limited evidence available regarding the safety and effectiveness of these medications in the treatment of COVID-19 illness shows no benefit in severely ill patients. (Updated May 26, 2020)
- H2-receptor antagonist (H2RA) Shortages: CPhA and medSask developed this document to assist health-care providers in managing patient care in the event of a shortage of H2-receptor antagonist (H2RA). (May 25, 2020)
- DMARDs or other anti-rheumatic medications: To date, there is no data on COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic disease taking DMARDs. Patients should not stop taking DMARDs without the consultation of their rheumatologist. (Updated May 14, 2020)
- Dipyridamole/ASA Shortage: CPhA and medSask developed this document to assist health care providers in managing patient care in the event of a shortage of dipyridamole/ASA. (April 30, 2020)
- Therapeutic alternatives to amoxicillin for common pediatric conditions: CPhA and medSask developed this document to assist health care providers in managing patient care in the event of a shortage of amoxicillin suspension. (April 29, 2020)
- Inhaled Salbutamol Shortage: CPhA and medSask developed this document to assist health care providers in managing patient care during the current salbutamol shortage. (April 16, 2020)
- Fluticasone Propionate Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler Shortage: CPhA and medSask developed this document to assist health care providers in managing patient care during the current fluticasone shortage. (April 2, 2020)
- Disruption of immunization schedules during the pandemic: Is a delay a problem? During the COVID-19 pandemic, many pharmacists and other providers have stopped providing routine immunization to support reallocation of health care provider time and social distancing. (March 26, 2020)
- Use of NSAIDs in patients with COVID-19: what is the evidence? There is insufficient evidence that NSAIDs negatively impact morbidity or mortality of COVID-19 and Health Canada continues to recommend both ibuprofen and acetaminophen for treatment of fever due to COVID-19. (March 17, 2020)
- Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the Canadian Heart Failure Society guidance on cardiovascular medications: ACEi/ARB/ARNi, low-dose ASA and NSAIDs (March 20, 2020)
Mask Poster: Promote the use of masks for those entering your pharmacy. (black and white version)
Pharmacy Poster: Enter the contact info for your pharmacy and local public health authority before printing.
(Updated) Pharmacy involvement in COVID vaccination: This map provides an overview of the role pharmacy is playing in the COVID vaccine rollout across Canada. As the situation is evolving quickly, this chart is updated weekly. (April 12, 2021)
Pharmacists' scope of practice during COVID-19: This chart shows what pharmacists are authorized to do across Canada to provide continuity of care and key pharmacy services to patients during COVID-19. (June 11, 2020)
COVID-19 and controlled drugs and substances: This chart shows how pharmacists have been enabled to better support patients who have been prescribed controlled drugs and substances during the COVID-19 pandemic. (June 12, 2020)
Video: A CPhA Explainer on what pharmacists want you to know about getting vaccinated at your pharmacy
Video: A CPhA Explainer: Drug Myths and COVID-19 (YouTube)
- Pharmacies across Canada underutilized; less than half included in vaccine rollout: As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge across the country, Canada’s vaccine strategy has never been more important; but thousands of pharmacies across the country are still waiting to get involved. (April 15, 2021)
- COVID-19 Vaccine and Pharmacy Readiness: Recommendations from CPhA and Neighbourhood Pharmacies (December 2020)
- Pharmacists anticipate significant demand for COVID-19 vaccines, call for a coordinated strategy with federal support: The Canadian Pharmacists Association is calling for a more coordinated strategy to ensure that health professionals are ready to administer vaccines when they arrive in Canada. (December 3, 2020)
- Canadians urge expanding COVID-19 asymptomatic testing across Canada: Long wait times for testing and limited testing locations continue to be challenges in many parts of the country. (September 15, 2020)
- CPhA encourages all Canadians to wear a non-medical mask/facial covering when visiting a pharmacy: In accordance with the latest information provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), CPhA encourages all Canadians to wear a non-medical mask/facial covering when entering a pharmacy, regardless of symptoms, especially when it is not possible to maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others. (June 9, 2020)
- Pharmacists continue to have difficulty sourcing certain medications amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: Community pharmacists across Canada continue to be faced with drug supply challenges two months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, and they remain very concerned about their ability to access the medications their patients need. (May 27, 2020)
- Remarks to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology: CPhA appeared before the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology to highlight the key role pharmacists have played throughout the pandemic. Our comments focused on the challenges pharmacists have experienced in managing drug supply, the ongoing lack of protective equipment and the need to prepare for the upcoming flu season. A video recording of the full meeting is available in both English and French. (May 20, 2020)
- Infographic - National survey of community pharmacists and practice challenges during COVID-19: CPhA conducted a survey of Canadian community pharmacists from April 17-21, 2020 to better understanding the challenges they face on the front line of the pandemic as they care for patients.
- CPhA receives contribution surgical masks for community pharmacies: CPhA is pleased to announce the distribution of more than 200,000 surgical masks destined for community pharmacies, thanks to a generous financial contribution from Innovative Medicines Canada. (April 28, 2020)
- Statement - Pharmacists see spikes in drug shortages during pandemic: COVID-19 is and continues to be a threat to Canada’s drug supply say Canada’s pharmacists, and they are concerned about dramatic increases and volatility in the number of reported drug shortages. (April 17, 2020)
- Joint Statement - Diabetes supplies in Canada during COVID-19 crisis: CPhA and Diabetes Canada released a joint statement regarding the insulin supply in Canada to encourage Canadians to not stockpile medications or supplies. (April 8, 2020)
- Remarks to the Standing Committee on Health: CPhA appeared before the Health Committee to provide a pharmacy perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the crucial role front-line pharmacists are playing caring for patients, the need to protect our drug supply to avoid shortages, and the need for protections for pharmacists. (April 7, 2020)
- Statement - Supporting and recognizing pharmacists as essential health care providers during COVID-19: We urge the federal government to work immediately with provincial and territorial governments to provide pharmacists and all essential health care providers with the supports they need to continue to serve our communities. (March 25, 2020)
- Joint health stakeholder letter to First Ministers - Protecting and supporting Canada’s health-care providers during COVID-19: CPhA, along with the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association and the Canadian Association of Social Workers, sent a joint letter to Canada’s First Ministers calling for measures to provide front line health and social providers with personal protective equipment as well as clear and consistent information and guidelines. (March 23, 2020)
- Statement on 30-day supply of prescription medications: CPhA issued a statement on the need for pharmacies to carefully manage medication inventories to prevent drug shortages (March 23, 2020)
- Open letter to the Government of Canada: CPhA issued an open letter to the Government of Canada, co-signed by more than a dozen other national and provincial organizations, urging for a coordinated plan to ensure pharmacists have access to personal protective equipment (March 18, 2020)
- COVID-19 and the responsible allocation of medications to patients: To ensure that Canada’s medication supply is managed responsibly, we are recommending a 30-day supply of medications for patients, unless clinically justified (March 17, 2020)
- CPhA Statement on Stockpiling: Canadian Pharmacists Association warns against stockpiling medication in response to COVID-19 (March 4, 2020)
Public Health Agency of Canada
- General overview
- For health professionals
- Symptoms and treatment
- Travel advice
- Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada
- Risk-informed decision making for mass gatherings during COVID-19 global outbreak
World Health Organization
International Pharmaceutical Federation