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CACDS lauds expanded Rx services in Ontario
October 11th, 2012
TORONTO – The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) applauded Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews and the Ontario government for the approval of regulations that expand the health services that pharmacists can provide.
CACDS said Thursday that it collaborate with the Ontario government to enable the successful implementation of the legislation. The association called it "a significant achievement" that about 600 pharmacies will begin delivering flu shots throughout the province in just a few weeks.
New services that Ontario pharmacists can provide include adapting and renewing existing prescriptions; prescribing certain drugs for smoking cessaion; administering (by injection or inhalation) specific substances to a patient for the purpose of education and demonstration; piercing the skin to support patient self-care and monitoring of a chronic disease (such as diabetes); and giving a flu shot to a person age 5 and older as part of Ontario's Universal Influenza Immunization Program.
"Through expanding the scope of pharmacy practice to include delivering flu shots, prescription renewals and smoking cessation therapies, the government is helping patients access the vital care that they need at a location that is close to where they live and work," CACDS chairwoman Sandra Aylward said in a statement. "This is good news for Ontario families and pharmacies alike."
Aylward noted that Ontario's immunization rate has traditionally been among the lowest in Canada, meaning that more Ontarians have had to miss work, school or interrupt their daily activities. She said that in British Columbia, where pharmacies have been providing flu vaccinations for a number of years, almost half of the population is immunized each year.
"This is only the first year Ontario pharmacists will be enabled to deliver flu shots, so it's remarkable that so many have stepped up to the plate in such a short amount of time," Aylward stated. "In years to come, we expect many more pharmacies to be providing this service. Community pharmacy is eager to demonstrate the value it can provide as an accessible location for patients to receive health care services. Flu shots are really just the first step."