Ontario Pharmacists' Association applauds legislation that would increase access to care

    TORONTO, May 11 /CNW/ - The Ontario Pharmacists' Association (OPA) is
pleased that the Ontario government has recognized the value of pharmacists by
proposing legislation that would expand their scope of practice.
    "This legislation would bring Ontario one step closer to using
pharmacists to the best of their abilities," said Dennis Darby, OPA's chief
executive officer. "It acknowledges their vital role as healthcare
professionals, with increased responsibility and accountability for the safe
and effective use of medications by patients."
    "Enabling pharmacists to practice in an enhanced, collaborative role
would improve patient care, reduce wait times, and increase the efficiency of
Ontario's healthcare system."
    If passed, the legislation would allow pharmacists to administer drugs by
injection or inhalation, for patient education and demonstration; prescribe
drugs for smoking cessation; extend, adapt or adjust prescriptions; pierce or
lance the skin, for patient education and demonstration; and order laboratory
tests for the purpose of medication monitoring and management. Pharmacists
would be included among all other regulated health professions in the
definition of "health practitioner." They would also have a new scope of
practice statement that includes the promotion of health, and the prevention
and treatment of disease, disorders and dysfunctions through monitoring and
management of medication therapy.
    "Pharmacists have a unique expertise in medication management," said Tina
Perlman, OPA's Chair of the Board.
    "An expanded scope of practice would make it much easier for them to help
monitor and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma, and provide
patients with the care they need, when they need it. It will help improve
patient health, relieve pressure on other healthcare professionals and ease
the burden on emergency departments."
    "As scopes of practice continue to evolve, OPA will demonstrate the value
that pharmacists could bring to Ontario's healthcare system by doing even more
for their patients," Perlman said. "By enabling healthcare professionals to
work closely together at their highest possible level, both patients and the
healthcare system will benefit."

    The Ontario Pharmacists' Association is the professional association that
represents the views and interest of more than 11,000 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
in patients.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Deborah McNorgan, Director, Communications, Tel: (416) 441-0788 ext. 4266,
Cell: (416) 523-3446, Email: dmcnorgan@opatoday.com

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