Pharmacists question doctors' commitment to collaborate

TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) has launched a media campaign criticizing Bill 179, the Regulated Health Professions Statute Law Amendment Act, arguing that even prescription renewals for ongoing conditions should only be made by a physician.

Recognizing pharmacists' expertise in medication management and the unrivalled accessible patient care they offer, the Ontario Legislature is debating legislation that will enable pharmacists to prescribe medications in certain circumstances.

"More than 80% of Ontarians aged 65 or older suffer from a chronic disease like diabetes, arthritis or heart disease. These patients often have to wait for an appointment with their doctor every time they need to renew one of their many prescriptions, which puts unnecessary strain on patients and the health care system," said Ben Shenouda, President of the Independent Pharmacists of Ontario (IPO).

This is just one of the reasons why more and more jurisdictions - like Alberta, British Columbia and the U.K. - have given pharmacists prescriptive authority.

"While the OMA's latest news release talks about the importance of collaboration among health professionals, just one week ago they were belittling pharmacists - clearly not the best way to demonstrate a commitment to working together," said Shenouda. "Now is the time for greater cooperation and a patient-centred approach, not for old turf battles."

The IPO supports the Government's bill that will allow patients to access a range of expertise offered by many different health professionals - doctors, pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners and others.

Ontario pharmacists are highly trained and regulated health professionals. Pharmacists are medication experts, providing immediate medication counseling, monitoring and chronic disease management services to their patients in virtually every community across the province.

About the Independent Pharmacists of Ontario

The Independent Pharmacists of Ontario is a non-profit organization that was created to advocate on behalf of the unique needs and interests of Ontario's independent community pharmacists. The Association has a diverse and steadily-growing membership of over 1,000 pharmacists from across the province.


For further information: For further information: visit, or contact: Ben Shenouda, President, IPO, (905) 792-3011,

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