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Ontario looks to widen scope of Rx practice
November 19th, 2012
by Alasdair McKichan
TORONTO – Marshall Moleschi, registrar of Ontario College of Pharmacists, told his audience at the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores 2012 Conference that policy makers and the health care community are keen to see pharmacy professionals practice to their full scope.
Moleschi gave his view against the following backdrop: In Ontario, public health services are now absorbing 50% of tax dollars and are crowding out other competing needs such as education. The sustainability of the status quo becomes even less likely when in 10 years there will be four times as many seniors in the population as there are now.
He outlined the protocols that would govern the expanded scope of activities available to Ontario pharmacists:
• Specified procedures on tissue below the dermis.
• Prescribing and initiating therapy for smoking cessation.
• Administering by injection/inhalation for education and demonstration and for flu vaccine.
• Adapting or renewing prescriptions for drugs already prescribed and in medication therapy management.
• The requirements for prescribing medications.
Moleschi reminded the pharmacists in the room that all the new powers have to be discharged so as to protect the health and well-being of patients.
Pharmacists, he suggested, in exercising their prescribing authority should go through a checklist: Are they satisfied with their own familiarity with the condition and the drug, with the patient and his/her health status; do they have a valid prescription from an authorised third party or the pharmacist himself/herself; is the action proposed in the best interests of the patient; has the patient’s agreement been secured; has the pharmacist’s rationale been documented; have the appropriate notifications been made?
Moleschi reported that since the regulations establishing the powers of the new category of regulated technicians came into force in Ontario, 900 technicians have achieved regulated status and 65% of them are at work in community pharmacy. Another 3,000 are in the process of becoming qualified. He described how the regulated technician function can change the work flow in the pharmacy and how it provides the opportunity for pharmacists to spend more time with patients.