Pharmacies in Nova Scotia have begun to see an easing of the unprecedented drug supply problems that compelled the 30 days supply measure in mid-March. This has been echoed by wholesalers who are now seeing a stabilization of inventories, allowing for more consistent fulfillment of orders.
Effective May 12, 2020, pharmacies may now begin dispensing prescription quantities as prescribed where the pharmacy’s inventory levels permit. Where shortages persist or emerge, or where order fulfillment for a medication is unstable, pharmacies are to continue to dispense a 30 days supply.
Note: the NSCP will be monitoring whether this change is sustainable before communicating this more broadly.
To avoid potential demand increases as this change is communicated more broadly to the public, prescriptions should not be refilled unreasonably early and a maximum 3-month supply should be dispensed, other than in exceptional circumstances where it is in the patient’s best health interest to do otherwise.
COVID-19 is significantly impacting drug manufacturing in China and India for both raw materials and finished products. As the impacts of these disruptions are fully realized in Canada, shortages are soon expected to worsen and may persist. In recognition of the profession’s responsibility to act as stewards of the drug supply,
the NSCP is actively working with health system stakeholders on the development of a national strategy.
We thank you for continuing to do the best for your patients during this challenging time.