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If you have trouble accessing any of the information in this OPA Bulletin, or if you have questions about any of the information contained in the bulletin, please email the OPA communications department.

OPA Advocacy Efforts Result in a Loosening of Education Requirements for New Practitioners on MedsCheck for Diabetes Consultations

Following the 2016 launch of the revitalized MedsCheck program, the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) received a number of questions from members about the education requirements for pharmacists wishing to provide MedsCheck for Diabetes services in their practice. Specifically, concerns were raised about the need for pharmacists to have “adequate knowledge of diabetes education such as active certification in diabetes education / training or related professional development program by a CCCEP approved accredited provider or a Certified Diabetes Educator designation,” especially in light of the advanced training in diabetes and other chronic conditions that is now an integral part of pharmacy education in Ontario. (See the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website for full MedsCheck requirements.)
The Ontario Pharmacists Association is pleased to announce that as a result of ongoing discussions with Ministry representatives, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has agreed to loosen the diabetes education requirements for new practitioner pharmacists interested in offering MedsCheck for Diabetes consultations.  Effective immediately, new practitioner pharmacists who have successfully obtained their Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from either the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy or the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto from 2012 onward are deemed to have met the education requirements for diabetes education under the refreshed MedsCheck program. For all other pharmacists, completion of one or more CCCEP-accredited programs in diabetes that provides “adequate knowledge of diabetes education” or those with a Certified Diabetes Educator designation are deemed to have met the educational criteria under the program. This means that PharmD graduates from 2012 or later are exempted from taking additional diabetes education in order to be eligible to provide a MedsCheck for Diabetes consultation. As with all pharmacists, proof of education must be made available for audit purposes and must be in place prior to the billing of a MedsCheck for Diabetes claim.
Regardless of the initial source of training, pharmacists must maintain and update their knowledge on a regular basis to ensure a continuing high standard of service to patients. 
The MedsCheck FAQs on the Ministry’s website have not yet been updated to include this information, however, OPA has been assured that pharmacists meeting the above criteria will be able to provide (and submit claims for) the MedsCheck for Diabetes service effective immediately.  Additional information about the MedsCheck for Diabetes program, pharmacist and patient criteria, and all MedsCheck forms can be found here. Members who have additional questions about the revised education requirements, or about any of the MedsCheck services, are encouraged to contact OPA.

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Thinking of Retiring or Taking a Sabbatical From Your Practice? Don't Give Up Your Professional Liability Insurance!

When it comes to professional liability insurance (PLI), some may think that it is only necessary while practicing. Read the attached bulletin, submitted by HUB International HKMB Limited, to find out why you should maintain your PLI even if you have retired or temporarily stopped working. 

For more information on PLI, visit or call us at (416) 441-0788, option 2 or toll-free (877) 341-0788.  

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Women’s College Hospital's Research Study on Antidepressants During Pregnancy

The Women’s College Hospital research team is currently conducting a study using an online tool to help women make decisions about antidepressant medication use for the treatment of depression during pregnancy. The study is open to women from anywhere in Canada who are planning a pregnancy or are pregnant - all participation is remote.

The description of the study and information on how to participate can be found here; a research study poster which can be printed by pharmacists to display in pharmacies is also available. 

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Are You Ready for the New Scope? Register for OPA's Delivering a Comprehensive Pharmacy-Based Vaccines Program!

The Ontario Pharmacists Association's Delivering a Comprehensive Pharmacy-Based Vaccines Program online program will equip pharmacists with the knowledge to become a primary source for information and administration of vaccines for 13 diseases in the proposed Pharmacy Act Regulation. This includes vaccinations for haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, herpes zoster, human papillomavirus, Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, pneumococcal disease, rabies, tuberculosis, typhoid disease, varicella virus and yellow fever.

Click here to find out more or to register. 

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Have Your Checked Out OPA's Orientation to Pharmacy in Long-Term Care and Residential Care Facilities Online Program?

The Ontario Pharmacists Association's Orientation to Pharmacy in Long-Term Care and Residential Care Facilities online program is an introductory course to long-term care (LTC). The goal is to provide participants with an overview of the LTC and residential care sectors, describe the nature of pharmacy practice as it pertains to these practice settings, and familiarize participants with some of the key regulatory requirements and terminology common to these practice environments. Strategies to minimize adverse drug reactions and optimize medication use in older persons, and basic principles of medication therapy management (MTM) in elderly patients are also addressed.
We acknowledge the participation and support of the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy in the development of this program.

Click here to find out more or to register. 

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