Pharmacists could see expanded powers

Officials with the departments of health and social services and community services plan to create an advisory committee to help modernize the legislation.

The Yukon government is moving to dust off the territory’s pharmacist legislation.

Officials with the departments of health and social services and community services plan to create an advisory committee to help modernize the legislation.

The Pharmacists Act was last revised in 2002, though some of its regulations were updated in 2010.

In some Canadian jurisdictions, pharmacists can provide emergency prescription refills, renew or extend prescriptions, change a drug’s dosage, order and interpret lab tests or prescribe treatment for minor conditions.

None of these things happen in Yukon pharmacies.

Earlier this year, a local pharmacist called for the ability to provide vaccines. According to the Canadian Pharmacists Association, only the three territories and Saskatchewan do not allow their pharmacists to administer drugs by injection. Updated legislation is pending in Quebec, P.E.I. and Newfoundland.

Fiona Charbonneau, director of professional licensing and regulatory affairs for the Department of Community Services, says the possibility of Yukon pharmacists being allowed to give vaccines is one of the things that could be considered.

“Updating the legislation will take into account changes to the profession across the country, and the possibility of pharmacists providing vaccinations is something that may be considered as an expanded scope for Yukon pharmacists.”

The advisory committee will include representatives from the Yukon Pharmacists Association, Yukon Medical Association, Yukon Registered Nurses Association, and Yukon Hospital Corporation, as well as pharmacy owners, other local health professionals and members of the public.

The government placed newspaper ads this week looking for members of the public from the communities.

Once it’s created, Charbonneau said the group will meet regularly over the next several months to identify issues and concerns and make recommendations to the government.

“When complete, the new legislation will allow for more collaborative health care and enhance the safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness of health care services,” she said.

Once the committee is done, the public will also have a chance to provide feedback on the recommendations.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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