Former Pharmacy Dean Kishor Wasan on the Expanding Role of Pharmacy in Canadian Healthcare
Kishor Wasan Explains the Increasing Scope of Professional Pharmacy in Canada
SASKATOON, SK, CANADA, April 7, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Institution of Doctor of Pharmacy programs at schools of pharmacy across Canada have given Canadian pharmacists the training they need to play an expanded role in Canadian healthcare, former Dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan. In many jurisdictions, pharmacists now have legal authority to initiate prescription drug therapy and even to initiate, manage, and adapt Schedule I drugs. Other new responsibilities of pharmacists include:
Renewing and extending prescriptions for continuity of care. Every province and the Northwest Territories now permit pharmacists to continue prescriptions without prior authorization from the physician, provided they send the physician an update on the patient’s medication status. However, each province may limit the number of renewals per prescription and restrict prescription renewals for certain drugs and conditions.
Change drug formulation or dosage. All provinces now permit pharmacists to change the formulation and dosage of prescription drugs to deal with supply issues.
Make therapeutic substitutions. All provinces except Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec permit pharmacists to substitute medications in the same class to better meet the needs of patients.
Initiating prescription drug therapy. Some provinces, Dr. Kishor Wasan says, are giving pharmacists the authority to start patients on drug therapy without a physician’s prescription. Pharmacists in Alberta, for example, have authority to dispense Schedule I drugs, including addictive drugs, provided they have received additional authorization through their college. In Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, pharmacists who work in a collaborative setting or under a collaborative practice agreement can also initiate prescription therapeutics, although Manitoba requires authorization from their college of pharmacists. In emergency situations, when there is a need for a prescription drug but there is no physician to write it, pharmacists in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island can initiate prescription drug therapy, although limitations may apply.
Prescribing treatments for minor ailments and for smoking cessation therapy.Pharmacists in every province except British Columbia and Ontario can prescribe treatments for specified minor ailments. All provinces also allow pharmacists to counsel patients on the use of non-prescription drugs for their health issues. In every province except British Columbia and Saskatchewan, pharmacists can also dispense treatments for smoking cessation.
Ordering and interpreting laboratory tests. Pharmacists can order lab tests to monitor medications and interpret them for their patients in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, although their authority is limited to ordering lab tests only in Manitoba. Legislation is pending creation of regulations and standards of practice in three other provinces.
Injecting drugs and vaccines. Quebec is the only province that does not allow pharmacists to inject either medications or vaccines. Ontario pharmacists are only allowed to inject influenza vaccines. Pharmacists in British Columbia and Nova Scotia are permitted to inject other vaccines, while pharmacists in other provinces can also inject prescription drugs.
Dr. Kishor Wasan also notes that most provinces permit pharmacists to employ pharmacy technicians. These health care professionals either complete a bridge program after earning other healthcare professional certifications or gain certification after taking a course from their college.
In addition to these services, Doctors of Pharmacy assist physicians in case management and monitor responses to long-term pharmaceutical therapy. They help resolve treatment issues and participate in the long-term care of their patients, says Kishor Wasan.
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