Nova Scotians will have more access to the services of pharmacists and licensed pharmacy technicians through a new Pharmacy Act being introduced in the legislature today, April 7.
"We are updating the Pharmacy Act and regulating pharmacy technicians to provide better health care sooner to Nova Scotia families," said Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health and Wellness.
The act will allow licensed pharmacy technicians to dispense certain types of prescriptions and do more technical work under the direction of pharmacists. This will allow pharmacists to focus on counselling patients and ensure medications are prescribed safely and appropriately to Nova Scotians.
"Government values the expertise of pharmacists and technicians, and we recognize that many Nova Scotians count on their advice and care," said Ms. MacDonald. "Expanding the services they deliver in our communities will help Nova Scotians get the care they need when they need it."
This is the next step in government's work with pharmacists to maximize their skills and expertise in delivering health care to Nova Scotians.
Pharmacy technician regulation is happening across Canada. The Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists worked with government to make the changes.
"Through regulation, the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists and the public can be assured that pharmacy technicians have met national and provincial entry to practice standards and are competent to take on more responsibility for the technical aspects of dispensing," said Susan Wedlake, registrar of the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists. "Pharmacists, freed from these technical tasks, will be more accessible to patients and will be able to focus on enhanced patient care."
To become licensed, pharmacy technicians will need to meet certain national requirements, including education, practical experience and passing a certification exam. They will also have to participate in ongoing education to maintain their skills.
Other proposed changes in the legislation will improve transparency and accountability of the pharmacy profession and make the proposed act consistent with other legislation in the province and Canada.
As a result of regulations that came into effect in January 2010, pharmacists are able to refill, extend and adjust prescriptions, and prescribe certain medications. Standards of practice are now in place, and being rolled out to pharmacists and other health care professionals across the province.
In the fall of 2010, government passed amendments to the existing legislation authorizing pharmacists to administer drugs, including vaccines, and order and interpret lab tests to monitor drug therapy. Regulations are now being developed by the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists in collaboration with government, and in consultation with pharmacists and other health care professions, including doctors, nurses and dentists.
The government is committed to providing Better Care Sooner. To learn more, see www.gov.ns.ca/health/BetterCareSooner/
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Nova Scotians could have more access to the services of
pharmacists and licensed pharmacy technicians because of a new
Pharmacy Act being introduced in the legislature today (April
The new act will regulate pharmacy technicians, allowing
them to dispense certain types of prescriptions and do more
technical work under the direction of pharmacists. This will
allow pharmacists to focus on counselling patients.
This is the next step in government's work with pharmacists
to more completely use their skills and expertise to deliver
better care sooner to Nova Scotians.
Media Contact: Kristen Rector
Department of Health and Wellness