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ISMP Canada News

November 28, 2019: Communication of Special Access Programme Medications

Health Canada's Special Access Programme (SAP) provides access to nonmarketed medications for prescribers who are treating patients with serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional therapies are not an option. To access medications through the SAP, the prescriber must first complete the request form found on Health Canada's website and fax the completed form to the SAP for review. If approved, the medication is supplied directly from the manufacturer to one of the following distribution points: the requesting prescriber's office, an in-patient hospital pharmacy, a radiopharmacy, or a blood bank. Unlike medications dispensed from a community pharmacy, medications procured through the SAP—whether for a patient residing in the community or a patient transitioning to or from a health care facility—often bypass the usual chains of communication.In the incident described earlier in this issue of the ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin, information about a medication that was authorized and provided through the SAP was not made available to the patient's community pharmacy.  Read more ...