Medication supply in good shape if you are responsible

The Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan is not presently concerned about possible shortages of medications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Myla Bulych, director of professional practice for the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan, medication supplies are stable in the province.

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Presently, the vast majority of medications are available as per usual, she said.

While there have been shortages in the past, policies are in place to limit the ability to stockpile.

“Most medications are being offered in 30 day supply just so that we can make sure absolutely everybody can get what they need. In this time people can panic and they might think that need a little bit more but, in fact, that can cause issues for somebody else,”

“I think as long as we continue to fill prescriptions as needed there is not going to be an issue,” she added.

“Because the supply is there if we get anxious and are filling more than what is needed it will have implications. But we are hoping that these measures that have been put in place will prevent that and so far so good for the vast majority of medications out there.”

Bulych advised that people should continue to take their medications as prescribed, contact their pharmacists 24 hours in advance by phone and limit their interactions not just in the pharmacy but everywhere.

“If patients protect themselves it translates into protection for our health care workers and we need all of our health care workers healthy and at their best so they can provide services to the patients that need it most,” she said.

She added that Saskatchewan’s pharmacists are committed to maintaining continuity of care, working closely with physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to meet the challenge of the COVID-19 together.

“In this time, patients might see some differences in how their pharmacies are providing services. And this is just to help protect — not only the public — but also our pharmacies across the province in light of shortages of things like masks and gloves,” Bulych said.

She explained that physical distancing should be practiced in pharmacies to prevent the passage of the COVID-19 virus. As well, she advised patients should contact pharmacists 24 hours in advance to fill prescriptions.

Pharmacies are also offering curbside pickups and home deliveries. If you can’t see your doctor a pharmacist will be able to do so. They are doing this in order to make sure people get their medication and limit or eliminate exposure completely if possible.

They advise that you call your pharmacy for direction if you are feeling ill and are requiring medications. Your pharmacy will direct you appropriately and this way you are keeping the pharmacy staff and other people as safe as possible.

“I would like to add that the world is shifting very quickly on how healthcare is being delivered. We are seeing policies change and be modified based on what is needed most right now so we are asking the public to be patient and be respectful of our healthcare workers because they are doing the best that they can,” she said.

"We are just asking them to follow all of the rules that we ask of them so that we can try to maintain the best level of patient care during this time.”

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