The NDP Opposition is calling for the government to address shortfalls in the Pharmacists Act.
Through an access to information request, the NDP received a briefing note prepared for the minister of Health and Social Services, which details several significant issues with the current act.
“In all other Canadian jurisdictions, it is strictly prohibited for a physician to own any portion of a pharmacy,” according to the document, prepared by a pharmacist who works for the government’s extended benefits and pharmaceutical programs. “It is blatantly unethical for a doctor to profit from the prescriptions they write themselves. Does the physician prescribe what is best for the patient or what they are overstocked in?”
When NDP MLA Jan Stick brought up this issue in the legislature Tuesday, Health Minister Doug Graham and Community Services Minister Brad Cathers both accused her of attacking the ethics of Yukon doctors.
“I trust these physicians to do the right thing,” said Graham. “We will, in co-operation with my colleague, the minister responsible for consumer affairs, be working on this piece of legislation. We have already started consultations with a number of interested parties and we will continue doing so. But we will not introduce this new legislation until it’s correct and ready to be done.”
Neither minister mentioned that the government plans to introduce a modernized Pharmacists Act to the legislature next year, as Premier Darrell Pasloski announced last week.