Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pharmacists await training in new role

This isn't really a surprise. A lot of people are going to expect that the pharmacist can help them circumvent seeing a physician, and this really isn't the case. Extending prescriptions can be done, but it's still not going to be really straightforward.

Considering the current views of most physicians, I'd be hesitant to extend a prescription for any patient who I didn't know their physician well. While you might be within your scope to make that extension, is it worth it if their physician reacts badly and you've make an enemy? Don't forget that a pharmacist is mandated to inform the prescribing physician that they've extended the order. I can imagine that some physicians will be protesting every extension on principle alone.

Also, I have yet to hear much talk about fees relating to prescribing. If it was appropriate and a pharmacist extended a prescription, would a patient pay a separate cognitive fee? The Alberta Pharmacists Association has recommended a cognitive fee of $16-$17, which isn't covered by Alberta Health. Are patients willing to pay that, or are they just going to go to their physician where there are no fees involved?

By the way, I was asked why narcotics and controlled drugs are excluded from the legislation. This was not a choice by the Alberta College of Pharmacists. Controlled prescription drugs are federally regulated, so if the federal government doesn't recognize a type of prescriber in the controlled drugs laws, they can't prescribe these drugs. This is why podiatrists in Alberta can prescribe everything except controlled drugs.

From the Edmonton Journal:
People who tried to obtain new prescriptions directly from pharmacists left empty-handed Sunday, the day new provincial rules kicked in to give the pharmacists broader powers.

By early afternoon, about five people had asked the staff at Rexall Drugs in Clareview to dole out medications without a doctor's visit.

"They were upset that they didn't get what they wanted," said Peter Nguyen, the pharmacy technician who referred patients back to their physicians. ...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not sure about AB, but many MDs in ON are now charging for phone/fax repeats. Typical charge is $10/repeat, and of course, not covered by any insurance.

PS: What's up with the RSS feed???