Alberta College of Pharmacists welcomes new pharmacy profession

EDMONTON, May 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Pharmacy technicians will become Alberta's newest regulated health professionals on July 1, 2011.

Hon. Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Health and Wellness, made the announcement at the college's annual general meeting in Jasper on May 22. Amendments to the Pharmacists Profession Regulation allow the Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) to regulate pharmacy technicians as a new registrant category.

"For almost a decade, pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, and ACP have worked together to develop the framework to regulate pharmacy technicians in Alberta," explained ACP Registrar Greg Eberhart. "This is an exciting day, as this decision will benefit Albertans, our health system and our professions."

Patients will benefit because pharmacists, freed from the technical aspects of dispensing, will be able to focus on more comprehensive patient care such as medication reviews, chronic disease management, initial prescribing, immunization, and follow-up.

Pharmacists will benefit because the work of prescription processing and preparation can shift from them to the technician, thereby allowing pharmacists to more appropriately use their skills and knowledge to deliver patient care.

The health system will benefit because health professionals' skills will be used more appropriately and patients will have increased access to care from pharmacists.

"The regulation of pharmacy technicians helps fulfill two of the college's primary goals: protecting the public and optimizing the use of pharmacy professionals' skills. By regulating pharmacy technicians, ACP can be assured - and can assure the public - that these regulated individuals have met provincial entry-to-practice standards and are competent to take on more responsibility within the compounding and dispensing functions," said Eberhart.

Pharmacists must still review each prescription to ensure it best meets the patient's needs and must provide patients with information about their drugs and therapy. However, once the pharmacist has reviewed the prescription, regulated pharmacy technicians will now be able to compound and dispense the drugs.

Like other regulated health professionals, technicians will be required to demonstrate competency at entry to practice and throughout their careers, and must practice in compliance with standards established by ACP.

The Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) supports and protects the public's health and well-being by governing the practice of pharmacists, pharmacies, and soon pharmacy technicians. ACP, and its precursor the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association, have effectively governed pharmacists and pharmacies in Alberta for 100 years.

Image with caption: "Hon. Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Health and Wellness, announces pharmacy technician regulation in Alberta. Jasper, May 22, 2011. (CNW Group/Alberta College of Pharmacists)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110526_C8033_PHOTO_EN_01.jpg

SOURCE Alberta College of Pharmacists

For further information:

Alberta College of Pharmacists contacts:

  • Greg Eberhart, Registrar (780) 990-0321
  • Karen Mills, Communications Leader (780) 990-0321, karen.mills@pharmacists.ab.ca

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Alberta College of Pharmacists

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