Released on October 23, 2012
Saskatchewan patients are able to seek their community pharmacists' help if they need prescription medications for certain minor ailments.
The Ministry of Health is pleased to support the efforts of the Pharmacists' Association of Saskatchewan (PAS), which is undertaking a broader public awareness campaign to ensure the public understands the available prescribing services through community pharmacies and pharmacists. This campaign complements the work undertaken by the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists (SCP) to enhance prescriptive authority for pharmacists.
"Pharmacists are well-trusted members of the health care team," Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. "We all recognize the ability of pharmacists to improve health care delivery in collaboration with doctors and other health care professionals. Residents now have another option to access medications when they need them. This truly reflects our commitment to put patients first."
Community pharmacists have the ability to prescribe certain medications for specific minor ailment conditions, including:
- Minor acne;
- Insect bites;
- Cold sores;
- Allergic rhinitis;
- Oral thrush;
- Diaper rash; and
- Canker sores.
As set out in the SCP prescriptive authority bylaws, pharmacists began to provide prescribing services in March 2011. Initially, these services included extending refills on existing prescriptions, altering missing information or a dosage form on a prescription, and providing emergency supplies of prescribed medications. The minor ailments prescribing service was first made available in June 2011.
"The expansion of minor ailment prescribing allows pharmacists to better serve their patients' health care needs," Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists President Kim Borschowa said. "It allows patients to take control of their health in a positive manner by empowering them to make decisions about their care in conjunction with pharmacists. Especially in rural areas, it is providing another option for both patients and physicians to make better use of available health care resources."
"Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to have a significant and positive impact on patient health in Saskatchewan," Pharmacists' Association of Saskatchewan Chair Curtis Loucks said. "Patients now have more options to improve their health by consulting with pharmacists to resolve issues which previously may only be handled by physicians. It is clear from recent public opinion polls that not only are Saskatchewan residents comfortable with pharmacists providing these services, they also want pharmacists to offer many other health services. We look forward to expanding the role of pharmacists in this and other primary health care innovations."
Between January 1 and June 30, 2012, about 48,000 Saskatchewan residents accessed pharmacist prescribing services, and between February 1 and June 30, 2012, approximately 550 residents accessed minor ailments prescribing services.
There are approximately 1,300 practising pharmacists and more than 350 licensed community pharmacies in Saskatchewan.
For more information, contact:
Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists
Pharmacists' Association of Saskatchewan