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COVID-19: Here are the criteria for having your prescriptions refilled without a note

Patients are encouraged not to stockpile medications
pharmacy
(via Pharmacist scanning barcode / Shutterstock)

On Monday (March 16), Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that British Columbians will not require an additional doctor's note to have their prescriptions refilled. 

Since the statement was issued, the BC Pharmacy Association states that many patients have visited pharmacies in order to have prescriptions filled.

These patients either require an adequate supply of their medications in order to self-isolate, or they have run out of their medications and need more. 

With this in mind, patients are encouraged not to stockpile medications. If they attempt to do so, pharmacists are generally not providing more than a 30-day supply to support those who are self-isolating. 

While many patients will be able to get their prescriptions refilled without a note, pharmacists remain bound by existing regulations when providing medications without a new prescription.

As such, the BC Pharmacy Association has outlined a few criteria to keep in mind before you visit your regular pharmacy.

The association notes that, "patients must already be taking the medication or have an existing prescription for their medication. Pharmacists can not provide a new medication to a patient without a previous doctor’s prescription." Further, the service will generally be used to provide medications used to treat chronic conditions. 

Patients with expired prescriptions may have them filled by a pharmacist, and the pharmacist will work with the patient to determine the appropriateness and the amount of supply to provide them.

If you have run out of your medication or need more, call ahead to your regular pharmacy to determine whether a pharmacist can provide the additional supply.

The BC Ministry of Health has developed a new assessment tool for people who aren't sure if they require further testing or assessment for COVID-19. 

Launched on Monday, the free online tool may be completed for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.