According to the New Brunswick Pharmacy Act that was acclaimed in 2014, wholesalers are prohibited from selling limited-access drugsto a person or entity that is not registered with the College. To comply with the Pharmacy Act and Regulations, wholesalers who distribute limited access drugs in New Brunswick must be registered with the College by April 1, 2016.
This new legislation is intended to address a current safety issue with the availability of limited access drugs in non-pharmacy retail establishments. Limited access drugs should never be made available or sold to consumers by a non-pharmacy retailer. To do so would be in contravention of the National Drug Schedules and theNew Brunswick Pharmacy Act. The provisions for enforcement by the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists is what was introduced in the Pharmacy Act and Regulations in 2014.
Limited access drugs pose enough potential risk to the public that they require either a prescription, professional intervention or supervision from a pharmacist at point of sale. This is in accordance with the National Drug Schedules that were adopted by New Brunswick and by most other Canadian provinces. Any limited-access drug that is listed in Schedule I, II or III of the National Drug Schedules (e.g., Gravol containing dimenhydrinate) must not be sold to non-pharmacy retail establishments (e.g. convenience stores, gas station, etc.) by wholesalers.
The New Brunswick College of Pharmacists has a duty to uphold and protect the public interest in the practice of pharmacy1. According to section 52(4) of the Pharmacy Act, the College may request records of sale if it is believed that wholesaler has sold limited access drugs to a non-pharmacy retail establishment. Similarly, if it is believed a non-pharmacy retail establishment has sold a limited access drug to a consumer, the College may request records of sale from thatretail establishment, naming the wholesaler from whom the product(s) were purchased.2
The enforcement of this provision in the Pharmacy Act and Regulations is a positive step in helping the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists uphold its mandate of protecting the public interest. Compliance with the legislation and cooperation from all stakeholders will help minimize potential risk to consumers.