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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Press Release from NAPA (National Asthma Patient Alliance):

Ontario Pharmacists can now refill prescriptions, give flu shots!

The Ontario Government has announced changes to what Pharmacists are allowed to do so that Ontarians will now be able to receive more health services directly from them. These new measures will be extremely helpful for the 1.7 million people in Ontario with asthma.

Under the newly announced changes Pharmacists can now:

Renew or Adapt existing prescriptions
If your prescription has run out for your inhaler(s) you can now ask your pharmacist to renew your prescription. Pharmacists can renew a prescription for a maximum six-month supply.
Prescribe medication to help people quit smoking
A pharmacist can now directly prescribe drugs for smoking cessation (such as Champix, Zyban or Wellbutrin). People with asthma are at a greater risk than others for various diseases if they continue to smoke. You can now ask your pharmacist for help in quitting smoking.

Demonstrate how to use an asthma inhaler
When picking up a prescription for an asthma inhaler, the pharmacist can now demonstrate the proper technique for using the device, including administering the first dose. Pharmacists are being provided with new training to assist them in performing this essential service for people with asthma.

Give the flu shot
Patients can visit participating pharmacies starting on October 22nd where specially trained pharmacists will administer publicly funded flu vaccine. People with asthma should get a flu shot as there is a higher risk of developing complication if we contract the influenza virus. Information on participating pharmacies will be available at www.ontario.ca/flu.
All of these new services will be available starting next Tuesday in 600 pharmacies across the province. Please be sure to ask your pharmacist if they are able to provide these new services!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Whoops, they had a slight mistake:

Important Clarification - All new pharmacist services announced by the Ontario Government, with the exception of the administration of flu vaccines, can be provided by all of Ontario’s 13,000 licensed pharmacists including in over 3,500 local pharmacies as soon as the pharmacists are certain of their comfort level in performing them. Orientation and training is being offered by the Ontario College of Pharmacists to its members to ensure that they are competent and comfortable in doing so.

Beginning October 22, flu vaccinations will be available at approximately 600 pharmacies in Ontario, in addition to the many other locations offered under Ontario’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program. Information on participating pharmacies will be available at www.ontario.ca/flu.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:53 am
Posts: 373
Location: Alberta
I laughed when I read the part about demonstrating how to use the inhaler ... pharmacists are trained to do that in pharmacy school! We've always been doing it. These press releases are somewhat misleading as well .... the government wants to sound like a good guy. Patients are frustrated in Alberta because the governments ads about pharmacist prescribing (which we've been doing since 2007 but the current government used in the most recent campaign as a new thing) fail to include the message that we do NOT replace doctors, we can simply renew until you can see the doctor. Doses and selection of medication are based on imporant part of a physical examination - things that a pharmacists does not do. We can only take on those things if we take on the monitoring and follow-up.

I also am not generous with salbutamol inhalers - especially if I've seen that a prescription for inhaled corticosteroids has gone unfilled for 6 months. If a patient goes through a rescue inhaler in a month, I make them go see a doctor anyway as their asthma meets the criteria for "uncontrolled".

So don't expect to not ever have to see your doctor - this is really, when you read the fine print, meant as a bridge only. The MD has to be notified when a pharmacist prescribes, and the next prescription has to come from an MD.


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