Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ontario pharmacists could soon prescribe drugs

From the Globe and Mail:
Ontario patients could soon get drug prescriptions from their local pharmacist as the governing Liberals look to join other provinces and expand the prescribing powers of pharmacists, nurses and other non-physicians.

Despite concern from the country's doctors, Health Minister George Smitherman is asking for advice on who should be allowed to prescribe drugs and whether nurse practitioners — who have some prescribing power — should be able to write prescriptions for a wider array of medication.

“You are seeing more and more the capability of the pharmacists being unlocked to serve patients,” Mr. Smitherman said.

“I think it's an appropriate thing to take a look at. Obviously it's got to be done with . . . an abundance of caution on behalf of patients but also recognizing that, for patients, it can be a matter of extraordinary convenience.”

The Ministry of Health is quietly commissioning a study which would examine whether those who have prescription authority now — like midwives, optometrists and nurse practitioners — should be able to prescribe more classes of drugs. ...more

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