TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ - Pharmacists across the province applaud the
Ontario government's decision to provide seniors and Ontario Drug
Benefit recipients with more access to pharmacist consultations to
ensure medications are being used safely and effectively.
"We're very pleased that the Ontario government has introduced changes
that recognize some of the valuable services pharmacists provide on
behalf of their patients on the public drug program," said Dennis
Darby, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association.
"Along with the MedsCheck program, these services promote healthier
outcomes by helping to ensure patients are on the right medication, at
the right dose, at the right time."
The expanded pharmacy professional services include consultations with
prescribers on issues such as potential adverse drug or allergic
reactions, duplication of therapy, and changes to dosage levels; and
followup consultations with patients to ensure medication is being
taken, and is working, as intended.
"Funding professional services will help pharmacists provide the best
care possible for their patients," said Janet McCutchon, Chair of the
Ontario Pharmacists' Association. "The expanded programs will help
enable pharmacists to create and maintain a complete and accurate
record of a patient's medication history, support interprofessional
collaboration and reinforce the vital role of the pharmacist as the
medication management expert within the healthcare team."
With their highly specialized training, pharmacists often identify
concerns with a new or repeat prescription: for example, a patient may
need additional drug therapy for an untreated condition; a drug may not
be effective; or the dosage may be too low. The patient may be
experiencing an adverse drug reaction, possibly related to an allergy
or a conflict with another medication or food; or the dose could be
dangerously high - the patient may, either accidentally or on purpose,
be taking too much. Sometimes there are problems with compliance: a
patient is refusing to take the drug, or else not taking it properly.
Some prescriptions are found to be fraudulent, or have been altered. In
consultation with the prescriber, the pharmacist helps determine
whether the prescription should be filled as prescribed, not filled, or
"The changes announced today provide important recognition of the value
of these professional services," Darby said.
Later this year, Ontario's pharmacists will implement a professional
appointment-based clinical services program, including in-depth
assessment on how to better manage a chronic disease like diabetes or
asthma; training on how to effectively use devices like blood pressure
monitors and asthma peak flow meters at home; and support to quit
"Together with the successful MedsCheck program, these services will
enable pharmacists to provide a more thorough review of a patient's
medication therapy and contribute even more to positive health outcomes
through improved chronic disease management," Darby said.
MedsCheck enables pharmacists to provide eligible Ontarians with an
annual appointment to review medications and ensure their safe and
effective use. The program also enables Ontario pharmacists to provide
one-on-one consultations for patients with diabetes, long-term care
home residents, and people who have difficulty travelling to a
"By making better use of pharmacists - through changes such as these -
we can improve patient care, take pressure off family physicians,
emergency rooms and walk-in clinics, reduce wait times and hospitals
stays, and help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our
healthcare system," Darby said.
The Ontario Pharmacists' Association is the professional association
that represents the views and interests of more than 12,000 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
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