TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Pharmacists' Association
(OPA) welcomes the recommendations made in the Drummond report, which
include an expanded scope of practice for pharmacists.
"As the provincial government looks for ways to rebuild public services
and create long-term sustainability particularly for the health care
sector, Ontario pharmacists can make a significant contribution," said
Dennis Darby, chief executive officer of the Ontario Pharmacists'
Association. "While everyone involved in providing health care in
Ontario needs to consider the Drummond report carefully, what we can
say today is expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists can
provide more timely access to patient care, and improves the efficiency
of health care spending."
Economic research from many jurisdictions supports the economic and
health care benefits of using pharmacists more effectively, noted
Darby. "Not only that, but Ontarians trust, need and expect pharmacists
to provide more patient care, improve timely access to services, and
contribute to the sustainability of our health system. Other
jurisdictions utilize pharmacists in this capacity, and so should
There are several recommendations in the report that highlight the
contributions that can be offered by pharmacists. Implementing
"changes to the Pharmacy Act to enable an expanded scope of pharmacy
practice" and "regulations to permit pharmacists to administer routine
injections and inhalations, including immunization" are excellent
opportunities to improve Ontario's low vaccination rates while
increasing vaccine access, particularly in times of emergency or
pandemic. All 50 U.S. states as well as other Canadian provinces
authorize trained pharmacists to administer injections, and the result
has been increased vaccination rates.
Ontarians would also benefit greatly if pharmacists were enabled to
prescribe for select minor ailments, as recommended in section 5-94 of
the report. In many circumstances patients seek advice, assistance and
treatment of self-limiting ailments like skin rashes or eye
infections. The report recognizes the triaging role that pharmacists
can play in assessing such conditions, and if still unresolved, in
referring patients to a physician or nurse practitioner.
"Of all healthcare professionals, pharmacists have the greatest number
of touch points with patients and caregivers, and yet, they are not
utilized to their fullest capacity. As experts in medication
management, pharmacists are trained to counsel patients and intervene
on their behalf, if necessary, so that they can properly monitor drug
therapy and make adjustments as needed in collaboration with other
health care providers," said Darby. "By fully utilizing their knowledge
and skills, pharmacists can contribute significantly to better health
outcomes, drive system and cost efficiencies through decreased wait
times and fewer emergency department visits, and provide more timely
access to the care that Ontarians want, need and deserve."
About the Ontario Pharmacists' Association
The Ontario Pharmacists' Association is the professional association
that represents the views and interests of more than 12,500 pharmacists
and pharmacists-in-training across the province. The association works
to inspire excellence in the profession and practice of pharmacy, and
to promote wellness for patients.
SOURCE Ontario Pharmacists' Association
For further information:
416-441-0788 or 1-877-341-0788 ext. 4266