Expanded scope of practice will be focus of Ontario Pharmacists'
Association 2012 Conference
TORONTO, June 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario pharmacists are ready to give
health care a shot in the arm. In anticipation of having an expanded
role to play in Ontario's health care system, the Ontario Pharmacists'
Association (OPA) is driving to have immunization and injection in 100
per cent of pharmacies by the end of 2013.
"We believe immunization and injection by pharmacists is one of the
province's best ways to reduce costs and increase vaccination rates,"
says Darryl Moore, Chair of the Board of Ontario Pharmacists'
Association. "Ontario pharmacists are committed to providing greater
access to care for Ontarians and when approved, we would like to have
an immunizing pharmacist in every pharmacy by December 2013."
While changes to the Pharmacy Act to enable pharmacists to administer
routine injections and inhalations have yet to be announced by the
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, hundreds of pharmacists have
made the investment in their future, by having already completed OPA's
Injection and Immunization Training Program. More will receive training
Thursday, June 14 ahead of OPA's annual Conference in London, Ont.
Beyond, training for pharmacists, OPA will invest in health outcomes
research to further validate the benefit pharmacists' expanded role can
have, not only on system sustainability, but also on patient access to
care. "We will continue to work with the Ministry to ensure uptake of
expanded scope as the various components come on line," says Dennis
Darby, CEO of OPA. "We will also work with industry partners such as
the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, to see that our vision
The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) is fully
supportive of the OPA's vision to have injection and immunization
services in 100 per cent of pharmacies by the end of 2013, notes Rita
Winn Vice Chair of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores
(CACDS). "Community pharmacies support pharmacists, who are highly
trained healthcare professionals, to fully utilize their skills in
helping Ontarians access quality health care at convenient locations
and times. By allowing pharmacists to practice to the full scope of
their ability, community pharmacy can help relieve pressures within
Ontario's healthcare system and help government deliver effective
More than 400 pharmacists and industry stakeholders, including Deb
Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, are expected to attend
OPA's 2012 Conference taking place June 14-16 in London, Ontario. This
year's conference lineup has been designed to help pharmacy
professionals embrace the changes that have occurred in Ontario's
health care system and thrive as a trusted health care provider under
the new scope of practice.
Sessions on nose and throat issues, pain, genitourinary and
gastrointestinal tract issues, and dermatological disorders will also
take place to allow pharmacists to increase their clinical knowledge
and enhance the care they provide to their patients.
Ontario pharmacists show growing support for immunizations and
As health care needs increase and become more complex, Ontario
pharmacists are showing increasing support for an expanded role. In a
2010Campaign Research Inc. survey of OPA members, 77 per cent said an
expanded scope of practice should be a top policy priority, up 32 per
cent from 2009.
OPA is continuing to work with government to ensure expanded scope is
embraced by the pharmacist community. Other jurisdictions in Canada
have authorized pharmacists to provide routine injections of
immunizations and vaccines with great success, improving uptake by
patients. Currently, all 50 U.S. states as well as the provinces of
British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick have authorized trained
pharmacists to administer injections, and the result has been increased
Almost two-thirds of Ontarians (61 per cent) have also indicated
support, saying they would go to their pharmacist for administration of
drugs by injection and inhalation, including immunization, if they knew
pharmacists had the appropriate training and were authorized by the
government to do so, according to findings from a recent Ipsos-Reid
Pharmacists could also treat minor ailments
In addition to provision of routine immunizations and injections,
Ontario pharmacists have a vision to initiate therapy for the
prevention of travel-related illnesses and prescribing for a defined
set of minor ailments. Ontarians would benefit greatly if pharmacists
were enabled to prescribe for select minor ailments. In many
circumstances, patients seek advice, assistance and treatment of
self-limiting ailments like skin rashes or eye infections.
Almost nine in 10 Ontarians (88 per cent) say they would go to their
pharmacist for appropriate medications or advice for minor ailments
such as dermatitis, psoriasis, cold sores and athlete's foot, if they
knew that their pharmacist had appropriate training and was authorized
by the government to do so, according to the recent Ipsos-Reid survey.
The biggest motivation driving Ontarians to be "more likely" to go to
their pharmacist rather than a walk-in clinic or doctor's office for
support on minor ailments is convenience: they wouldn't have to make
an appointment (77 per cent); wouldn't have to wait in a doctor's
waiting room (76 per cent); could visit a pharmacy on evenings and
weekends (76 per cent); and their pharmacist would communicate his or
her activities to the doctor (75 per cent).
Pharmacists in Ontario are highly regarded and recognized as the
medication management experts of the health care team. They have an
in-depth knowledge of hundreds of medications, and are one of the most
accessible health care providers, working closely with other health
care professionals, patients, and caregivers to advise on potential
side effects, interactions, and any necessary adjustments to
About Ontario Pharmacists' Association
Ontario Pharmacists' Association is the professional association that
represents the views and interests of more than 13,600 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:
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
Ontario Pharmacists' Association
416-441-0788 x 4236