Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pharmacists soon to prescribe drugs

I find it interesting that the New Brunswick Medical Society is in favour of pharmacist prescribing, while in Alberta the Alberta Medical Association is mostly against the concept. However, it doesn't sound that the N.B. plan is quite as far-reaching as the initial prescribing program that has started in Alberta.

From the Moncton (NB) Times & Transcript:
New Brunswick pharmacists are prescribing their own medicine to help solve the province's overburdened health-care system.

The New Brunswick Pharmaceutical Society has drafted a private members' bill, which will give pharmacists the power to renew, extend, or alter prescriptions and diagnose "minor" and "chronic" conditions and ailments.

The Liberal government tabled the bill and supported it yesterday in the legislature.

Bill Veniot, registrar of the New Brunswick Pharmaceutical Society, called the legislation a step forward for health care in the province, but said pharmacists would not be taking on the work of doctors.

"This is about greater access to pharmacists, greater access to necessary services. It is about the pharmacist being able to work for their full scope of practice."

Health Minister Mike Murphy has echoed the message of pharmacists, who believe they can help cut down on lineups at hospitals and make medications more accessible to New Brunswickers.

"People going to the hospital to get renewals on prescriptions, that won't be happening anymore. We won't be clogging up the waiting areas for that," says Dennis Abud, president of the New Brunswick Pharmacists' Association. ...more

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