Pharmacists in Canada
Canada has approximately 39,000 licensed pharmacists. Of those, 27,500 work in 9600 community pharmacies and 6500 work in hospitals. Almost 5000 pharmacists work in other settings such as the pharmaceutical industry, governments, associations, colleges and universities.
What Can Pharmacists Do In Canada?
Today's pharmacists are highly respected as the medication management experts of the health care team. They collaborate with patients, their families and other health care providers to benefit the health of Canadians. The pharmacist's traditional role is expanding, and pharmacists across Canada deliver a range of innovative services, including medication reviews, chronic disease management, immunization services and wellness programs. Most provincial governments have approved pharmacist prescribing with varying scopes of authority, a service that complements the care provided by a doctor and can result in more convenient refills, less time spent dealing with prescription changes and collaborative medication management.
Pharmacists are taking on expanded roles and are increasingly being recognized as the medication management experts of the health care team. Here is our chart for an up-to-date review of what pharmacists are doing in each province:
1. AB: pharmacists in Alberta who have “additional prescribing authority” can prescribe a Schedule F drug (prescription-only), including those for
the treatment of minor ailments
2. SK, NS & PEI: only as part of assessment and prescribing for minor ailments
3. SK: legislation introduced, expected implementation by fall 2015
4. MB: as Continued Care Prescriptions under section 122 of the Regulations to the Pharmaceutical Act
5. ON: restricted to prescribing specified drug products for the purpose of smoking cessation
6. ON: administration of influenza vaccination to patients five years of age and older; administration of all other injections and inhalations for
demonstration and educational purposes
7. QC: pending Orders in Council (activity enabled by passage of Bill 41, an Act to amend the Pharmacy Act, December 8, 2011; regulation for this
activity was planned for September 3, 2013, however it was postponed by Orders in Council on August 22, 2013)
8. QC: when authorized by a physician by means of a “collective prescription” (i.e., collaborative practice agreement)
9. QC: for demonstration purposes only
10. NB: prescribing constitutes adapting, emergency prescribing, prescribing non-presciption drugs or within a collaborative practice
11. PEI: implementation is pending pharmacist education and the development of standards of practice
12. NL: limited to non-formulary generic substitution