Alberta pharmacists increase scope of practice to ease healthcare strain

Mar 20 2020, 1:48 pm

Further measures to ease the strain on healthcare systems were announced today by the Province of Alberta.

Licenced pharmacists will now be able to screen and inform patients directly regarding COVID-19, and have also been granted additional discretion to limit prescriptions to a 30-day supply. This measure is to stabilize Alberta’s drug supply in the wake of global shortages due to the pandemic.

“Albertans rely on their pharmacy teams for access to medications to manage their health needs” stated Alberta College of Pharmacy registrar Greg Eberhart in a press release.

“To ensure Albertans can access the medications they need, the Alberta College of Pharmacy supports measures that will reduce the likelihood of drug shortages by limiting prescription quantities to 30 days.”

To assist with the potential added cost of increased prescription refills, those patients with government-sponsored coverage for seniors and non-group coverage programs with Alberta Blue Cross will be subject to a lower co-payment of $8 compared to the usual $25.

In the same press release, CEO of the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association Margret Wing stated: “The changes announced today to limit prescription quantities to 30 days will help to ensure that Alberta pharmacists have the means to effectively manage the supply of medications to the benefit of all their patients.

“Pharmacists are working tirelessly to ensure that patients continue to have access to prescription medications and this change should help to ease that pressure.”

Keep up with COVID-19 news here.