Thursday, June 01, 2006

New regulations let pharmicists prescribe drugs

After years of lobbying, pharmacists in Alberta have been granted the ability of prescribe medications. The press release by the Alberta College of Pharmacists is located >here.

Health Minister Iris Evans stated, "Expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists is an example of the innovation possible in the health system to enable competently trained health professionals to use all of their education
and expertise to benefit Albertans."

Individuals with chronic or recurring conditions will be the primary beneficiaries of the new authority, in particular the authority for pharmacists to prescribe. For example, when an individual with asthma runs out of their medication and is unable to see their physician, the pharmacist will be able to provide an inhaler for use until the patient's appointment with their doctor.

It sounds like positive news, but the next question is how will these changes be implemented? What kind of courses will be required? I would suspect that a separate type of "prescribing pharmacist" license will also be required. It sounds like the College will have a lot of details to announce over the next few months.

Here's a link to the Edmonton Journal article regarding the legal changes...New regulations let pharmicists prescribe drugs

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