MONTREAL, March 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The average wait in emergency rooms is
17 hours, physicians are overworked and pharmacists are restricted in
their ability to help. The Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec has
therefore submitted a proposal to the Government of Québec and to its
partners and is calling for legislative changes by the end of 2011.
"Seven days a week, pharmacists in Québec are forced to send their
patients back to the walk-in clinic or emergency room just to get their
prescriptions renewed or dosage adjusted. The same thing happens when
people come to them with simple health problems they could treat. It
makes no sense," states the Order's president, Diane Lamarre.
"Everyday the skills of these highly educated health professionals are
poorly utilized, depriving the public of this resource," adds Ms.
Lamarre. "People ask pharmacists for help and the pharmacists want and
can do more, but current legislation prevents them from doing so," she
continues. Direct consequence: Quebecers have to wait, and they
experience delays in beginning treatment and service interruptions.
The Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec has submitted a proposal to the
Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to enable pharmacists to
contribute more effectively to the health system. The proposed changes
will require legislative amendments, however, so the Order is calling
for a bill to be passed. "The current situation demands that changes be
made rapidly. The needs of the public are such that we're counting on
the legislation becoming effective by the end of the year," says Diane
Lamarre. Many of these activities are already being performed by
pharmacists in other Canadian provinces, in some cases, for a number of
The proposed changes would enable pharmacists to:
Extend some prescriptions in accordance with precise criteria, in stable
Adapt a prescription when necessary, for example, based on the patient's
weight or allergies;
Help resolve simple health problems like cold sores and seasonal
Order certain laboratory tests, for example, to monitor the safety of a
course of treatment (e.g., kidney function);
Administer certain medications for the purpose of teaching patients how
to do it (e.g., asthma inhalers) or meeting public health objectives.
As is the case elsewhere in Canada, pharmacists performing these new
activities would be supervised. In the end, the Order's aim is to
ensure that patients in need can see their physician. "Two million
Quebecers do not have a family physician. These Quebecers have
difficulty obtaining a diagnosis and meanwhile we keep telling people
to go to the emergency department to renew their prescription or get
treatment for seasonal allergies. We know it is possible to do better
than this." In a survey of the public conducted for the Order by CROP
in January 2010, 92% of respondents said they agreed (strongly or
quite) that pharmacists should be able to renew or temporarily extend
prescriptions and 91% said they trust pharmacists (absolutely or
enough) to help them deal with simple problems.
An online campaign: pourlemieux.ca
During Pharmacy Awareness Week, taking place in Québec from March 13-19, the Ordre des pharmaciens du
Québec is launching the website pourlemieux.ca where its proposals will be brought to life in three video capsules
starring three real-life pharmacists. Each capsule illustrates the
current limitations of the system and what a pharmacist could do to
help with a patient's problem.
"This campaign shows how simple changes would enable pharmacists to
provide solutions to these problems. Starting tomorrow, if we wanted,
we could give the public better access to care and help our health
system become more effective" concludes Diane Lamarre.
In addition to the microsite, the campaign will be seen on YouTube,
Facebook and Twitter.
The Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec
The mission of the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec is to ensure the
protection of the public. Its membership comprises more than 7,700
pharmacists practising in over 1,700 private pharmacies and public
health institutions in Québec.
SOURCE ORDRE DES PHARMACIENS DU QUEBEC
For further information:
|Contact: ||Julie Villeneuve, Communications Officer, Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec|
|For further information (including requests for interviews):|
|Chantal Neveu, email@example.com, 514-927-1052 or;|
France Gaignard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 514-616-7705