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THE OLDEST wEEKLY NEwSPAPER IN THE CANADIAN wEST
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Volume 131 Issue 45 Friday, January17, 2014 www.minnedosatribune.com 90 cents plus tax
Weacknowledgethe
nancial support of the
Government of Canada
throughthe
CanadaPeriodical Fund
of theDepartment of
CanadianHeritage.
By JENNIFER PAIGE
A
s doctor shortages
continue to plague ru-
ral communities across the
province, new legislative
changes have come into
efect giving patients a new
option in accessing their
health care needs.
As of January 1st the
provincial government
has implemented legisla-
tive changes that will see
new practice guidelines
for pharmacists, allowing
them the option to provide
customers with a broader
range of health care ser-
vices.
Te proposed chang-
es that have legally come
into efect at the beginning
of January have been go-
ing through the pharma-
ceutical association and
the government bodies for
a number of years and it
has dragged on much lon-
ger than anyone thought
it would take to imple-
ment, explained Wayne
Currah, Pharmacist at the
Minnedosa Pharmacy.
Under the new legisla-
tion pharmacists will have
the authority to prescribe
prescriptions for minor
alignments like acne, ath-
letes foot and smoking
cessation. Tey will also
have the ability to admin-
ister certain vaccines to
individuals over the age
of seven, such as publicly
funded vaccines for infu-
enza, pneumococcal, and
the Human Pamplona Vac-
cine.
Pharmacists will now
have the ability to issue
short-term refll prescrip-
tions for patients with
chronic conditions, give
out prescriptions in emer-
gencies, tweak doctors
prescriptions in terms of
dosage, strength and in-
tervals, order certain lab
tests, give advice on self-
administered tests and
can also prescribe and
demonstrate medical de-
vices such as, asthma in-
halers.
We are now also
able to fll continued care
prescriptions, which are
patients that have regu-
lar, ongoing prescriptions
dealing with chronic issues
like blood pressure, arthri-
tis or diabetes, continued
Currah. Tis is some-
thing that is extremely
helpful to the public here
in Minnedosa with the
ongoing doctor shortage,
but also for when unfore-
seen issues arise like last
week, for example, when
Dr. Hussain was stuck
at the airport in Toronto
and unable to be at the
clinic. Tis ability to fll
continued care prescrip-
tions gives people some
breathing room. Tey are
still going to have to see a
doctor eventually, but in
the short term or when is-
sues come up, we are able
to step up and help them
out.
Under the new phar-
maceutical act, pharmacy
technicians who are inter-
ested in providing these
additional services will be
required to undergo ad-
ditional training that will
educate them on proper
procedures, safety issues,
customer confdentiality,
and training on how to
handle possible allergic
reactions.
I am on the fence at
this point. Up until the last
few months I was against
the idea, but with the lo-
cal changes in doctors and
health care accessibility,
I am leaning towards it.
But there are certainly a
number of hoops to jump
through and it is uncertain
as to when the local situ-
ation will change again,
added Currah.
Currah brings up a
number of concerns from
the view point of the phar-
macists, including the
issue of patient safety,
compensation, training
expenses and how often
training will be required.
A big concern is that
when these drugs are ad-
ministered in health care
facilities, they have the
infrastructure to fall back
on, said Currah.
Continued
on Page 3
Expanding the Scope of Pharmacy Practices
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Photo by Jennifer Paige
Carol Pengelly and Sharon Rudneski prepare perscriptions at the Minnedosa Pharmacy.
Under new legislation, pharmacies will be able to ofer additional services to patients.