Pharmacy rules tough for some patients

Injectable cancer drugs should be sent to doctors' offices.

I am an 86-year-old who has been taking drugs for prostate cancer for many years. The present prescription is for a drug named Lupron Depo.

A few years ago, I was forced to pick up this drug and others then prescribed, personally, at the pharmacy at the cancer centre in Surrey. This is a time- and gasoline-consuming procedure which entails approximately 20 miles of travel plus finding adequate parking space and often making long walks necessary. This was probably applicable everywhere in British Columbia.

All of we patients dependent upon injectable cancer medications were delighted upon being informed that in future, these drugs would be delivered to our physician’s offices, therefore negating our long trips. This policy has been in force for about five years, but has now been stopped.

The reason, I’m told, is because this practice contravenes the bylaw of the College of Pharmacists that claims it is due to the physicians’ misuse of the drugs provided (i.e. giving it to somebody other than the patient to which it was prescribed) if the need arose.

This, in my opinion, should be between the physician and the college and should not therefore be the responsibility of the patient.

The new rules state that the patient must pick up his/her medication in person or have a friend or family member do so. This rule is utterly unfair and places the responsibility of obtaining the drugs prescribed upon the patient.

Many of these patients are extremely fragile, old and infirm. Many do not drive any longer. Nor do some have the family or friend to run their errand to pick up necessary cancer-fighting pharmaceutical prescriptions. Nor do many have the money for taxis or drivers to perform this function.

I appreciate the work the B.C. Cancer Society and the College of Pharmacists do in the pursuit of our health. But I believe that in this case there has been a most injurious miscarriage of justice that will result in great hardship or, perhaps, death itself.


Mike Harvey, Langley

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Girls, women try their hand at marine rescue in Surrey

Achieve Anything Foundation, RCMSAR Crescent Beach host ‘Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea’

White Rock cadets nab medals at Vernon competition

Thirteen members of 907 Squadron compete at regional meet

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

High-risk sex offender cuts off ankle bracelet, on the loose in Vancouver: police

Vancouver police said Kirstjon Olson, 38, is a provincial sex offender with 27 court-ordered conditions

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read