Physicians, pharmacists support 30-day prescriptions during COVID-19 pandemic

New Brunswick’s physicians and pharmacists support efforts to protect the province’s drug supply during the COVID-19 pandemic by limiting prescriptions to 30 days.

The New Brunswick Medical Society and New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association are urging citizens to respect and understand this temporary but necessary measure to protect the drug supply for all. In the last few weeks, pharmacists in New Brunswick and across Canada have seen a tremendous surge in demand for medical supplies and medications as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists directed all pharmacists to limit prescriptions to a 30-day supply as a temporary measure. By limiting supply to 30 days, pharmacists are taking a proactive step to ensure their patients continue to have access to their medications. New Brunswick was one of the first provinces to take this proactive step, but many others have followed suit. Once the pharmacy regulatory authorities across the country are confident in the security of the drug supply, pharmacies will be able to return to normal practice.

Many measures taken by Public Health and other health-care partners at this time are having a significant impact on individuals. Those decisions — like this one that protects our drug supply — are taken for the protection of the public’s health and safety. Physicians, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals are working together to manage this health-care crisis and to ensure that proper treatments and medications are available for all patients. We understand that this is a challenging, frustrating time for New Brunswickers. Please do not direct your frustration on the health-care professionals who are doing their best to take care of your needs and those of your families while risking their own health and safety, as well as that of their loved ones.

We urge New Brunswickers to support their health-care providers during this challenging time. We are all in this together. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this global crisis.

We would like to remind citizens that where pharmacists must decrease the days’ supply to 30 days, the New Brunswick Drug Plans will charge a co-payment to members only for the initial 30-day prescription fill or refill and not for subsequent refills from the same prescription. We encourage all private drug plans and employer groups to consider the same policy to ease some of the burden New Brunswickers are experiencing during this difficult time.

Christine Boudreau, President, New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association
Dr. Chris Goodyear, President, New Brunswick Medical Society