Changes to PharmaNet: What PLHIV need to know…

via AIDS Vancouver.

AIDS Vancouver has written a letter to Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, Antiretroviral (ARV) Prescriptions on Pharmanet—Additional Resources Required. It reads in part,

We appreciate that the announcement and some related materials online explicitly reference patient privacy as a key concern for PLHIV. Still, AIDS Vancouver does not believe that such references are enough to ensure that pharmacists truly understand the dangerous nature of HIV stigma prevalent in our province. HIV-specific cultural competency must be demonstrated by pharmacists in Vancouver and beyond Read letter


What is PharmaNet?

PharmaNet links all BC pharmacies online and tracks every prescription dispensed in BC. If you get prescriptions filled in our province, you have a record in PharmaNet.


Does my PharmaNet record show my ARVs?

Yes. Starting on May 4, 2020, pharmacies began entering ARV prescriptions in PharmaNet.


Who can see my ARVs on PharmaNet?

Only authorized health care providers can see your PharmaNet record. That means doctors, nurses and pharmacists in community and hospital pharmacies, emergency departments, community health practices, the College of Pharmacists of BC, and the College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC. If you want to see your own PharmaNet record, your local pharmacy has to send a request to the Ministry of Health for you.


I don’t want anyone to know I’m taking ARVs. How do I protect my privacy?

ARVs didn’t used to be entered in PharmaNet because many PLHIV were worried that people would find out they were HIV-positive. Patient privacy is still important but times have changed. PLHIV are living longer and can have many health problems as they get older. Pharmacists and other health care providers need to see your full PharmaNet record to prevent dangerous drug combinations and combinations that make your ARVs less effective. PharmaNet is more secure than before and no one can access your record for anything other than your health care.

You can password protect your PharmaNet record. If you do this, you have to remember your password each time you visit a pharmacy to pick up your ARVs and/or any other meds. AIDS Vancouver Case Managers and Peer Navigators can help you set up a password.


I want to know more about PharmaNet. What can I read? Who can I talk to?

You can read more Pharmanet information on MInistry of Health website


Download this information sheet


AIDS Vancouver Case Managers and Peer Navigators are here to help with any other questions:
Call 604-893-2201 or email [email protected]