Pharmacy regulatory authorities require pharmacists to understand Canada’s laws regarding pharmacy practice, including dispensing drugs and the ethics of professional practice. This area of pharmacy is known as jurisprudence. As part of the licensing process, international pharmacy graduates must prove their knowledge of Canadian federal and provincial drug and pharmacy practice laws, regulations and the code of ethics for the province to which they are applying. The laws control pharmacy practice and the production, distribution, advertising, sale and use of drugs. The code of ethics sets the standards for professional conduct and helps guide pharmacists in making difficult decisions on moral or ethical issues. This requirement must be met by successfully completing the examination offered by the pharmacy regulatory authority or the course “Pharmacie : loi et système de soins” offered at the Université de Montréal.
The jurisprudence examination or course will focus on the candidates’ knowledge and ability to apply laws, standards, and policies in the practice of pharmacy. The rules control pharmacy practice and the production, distribution, advertising, sale and use of drugs.
While each jurisdiction has its own examination, some of the topics included are:
- Conditions of sale (National Drug Schedules, Food and Drug Act and its regulations, prescription monitoring programs)
- Narcotics, controlled drugs and targeted substances (prescription requirements, record-keeping, storage, security, loss and theft, and disposal)
- Dispensing (filling and labelling prescriptions, prescription authorization and transfers, compounding, packaging, delivery, pricing and billing)
- Pharmacy operations (operation requirements, ownership, accreditation, inspections, opening and closing, management, supervision and advertising)
- Regulatory college structures, entry to practice and scope of practice (scope of practice, registration requirements, controlled acts, and committees for discipline, complaints and registration)
- Ethics, standards and responsibilities (standards of practice, documentation, confidentiality, professional misconduct and reporting)
- Other legislation affecting pharmacy practice such as privacy laws