Pharmanet was down for a number of hours Sunday morning causing headaches for pharmacies and patients, but a spokesperson for the B.C. Ministry of Health says people were still able to fill their prescriptions.
Pharmanet is the province-wide network that links all B.C. pharmacies to a central set of data systems and tells pharmacists how much drug coverage their customers have, and how much they will have to pay for a prescription.
Along with tracking billing, the system protects patients from potentially dangerous medication errors, duplication and dangerous combinations of different medications.
The health ministry couldn't immediately say what the problem was. Spokesperson Ryan Jabs says it was fixed in relatively short order by computer technicians.
While it was down, people were told to fill their prescriptions with their pharmacists by providing a CareCard, but were also told they would not be reimbursed until the system was restored.
It's not the first time the Pharmanet system has gone down.
In 2008, there was a province-wide shutdown of the system. At the time, the Ministry of Health announced it was spending $14 million to upgrade the program.