Scope of practice
Pharmacists are medication management experts committed to the delivery of healthcare services in a patient-centered collaborative environment. The role of the pharmacist has evolved over the years to include accountability and responsibility not only for the procurement and dispensing of medications, but also their safe and effective use by patients, the prevention of disease and the promotion of health and wellness.
When pharmacists work in a collaborative care settings, they utilize their unique knowledge and skills to manage an individual patient’s medication needs and reduce the demand for and potential duplication of other healthcare services. As the first line of contact for many patients, the pharmacist is considered the most accessible primary healthcare practitioner who can respond to patient’s medication needs in a timely manner and assist the patient in managing drug therapy in collaboration with caregivers, physicians, and other providers. Patients also seek the advice of their pharmacist for the treatment of minor ailments on a regular basis and ask for assistance in deciphering health and medication information obtained through the vast array of print and electronic media. Pharmacists provide information to patients about the optimal use of medications and promote the cost effectiveness of medications through evidence based decision making.
In order to fully utilize the accessibility and expertise of pharmacists, a change in their scope of practice is needed to enable them to have greater responsibility for prescribing decisions as well as the necessary tools to monitor drug therapy outcomes. These tools include access to the relevant portions of the patient’s health information including test results and treatment indications in a secured and confidential manner. As the increasing costs of healthcare put more demand on the public healthcare system, changes in the future will include an empowered patient and a greater emphasis on self-care. By virtue of their accessibility to the public, pharmacists will play a greater role in self-medication management, chronic disease management and the promotion of health and well-being.
Bill 179 - Letters of Support
OPA is very supportive of the changes to the scope of practice for pharmacists as proposed in Bill 179, and we continue to advocate for the assessment of minor ailments and routine immunization as outlined in our prior submissions to the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council. OPA will be submitting both oral and written presentations for consideration by the Standing Committee, but we need your help.
Highlights of OPA's submission on Bill 179
OPA's Response to HPRAC Final Report
- Summary of OPA's submission to Minister Caplan - Feb 23, 2009
- OPA's Submission to Minister Caplan - Feb 27, 2009
Please refer all media questions and interview requests to:
Ontario Pharmacists’ Association