Ontario pharmacists to gain new powers
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:20AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:44AM EDT
TORONTO -- Ontario pharmacists will be able to renew most prescriptions and offer some services previously provided only by doctors.
However, there's no agreement yet on how pharmacists will be paid for their increased role in health-care delivery.
Pharmacists now have authority to prescribe drugs to help people stop smoking and will be able to start giving flu shots when this season's campaign begins October 22nd.
Regulations have also been changed to allow them to renew non-narcotic prescriptions for up to six months, and to provide advice to people with chronic conditions.
There are about 600 pharmacies that will offer flu shots this season, and the government expects all 35-hundred pharmacies in Ontario will be able to offer the flu shots next year.
The Ministry of Health can't say exactly when it will be able to post a list of those pharmacies, which will be searchable by postal code so residents can find the nearest location.
It's hoped allowing pharmacists to give out flu shots will increase the province's 33 per cent take-up rate closer to the 50 per cent level seen in British Columbia.