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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
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Canadian Pharmacists Association brings together pharmacy experts to develop new vision for pharmacist role across Canada

Canadians still lack uniform access to pharmacist care and services across the country

January 24, 2018 (Ottawa): In an effort optimize health care for all Canadians and better utilize pharmacists, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) has formed a new working group tasked with defining and developing a forward-thinking, uniformed national scope of practice for the pharmacy profession in Canada.

Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to do more for Canadians, including offering new services such as administering vaccinations, treating minor ailments, providing screening and risk assessments and improving medication adherence through continuity of care with prescription renewals – services that are still unavailable in many Canadian jurisdictions.

“The lack of harmony around scopes of pharmacy practice has created confusion among Canadians and governments as to what pharmacists can do for their patients. For example, why can pharmacists prescribe for minor ailments in some provinces but not others? This creates difficulty in articulating the value proposition in the health care system and complicates the public’s awareness and potential utilization of a highly accessible healthcare provider,” said Iris Krawchenko, Senior Pharmacist Advisor, CPhA.

To achieve a national and unified vision that fully leverages pharmacists’ expertise and defines pharmacy’s role in an evolving health care system, CPhA believes that a national scope of practice needs to be developed that ensures all Canadians have access to a common set of pharmacist services and practices. The Professional Practice Working Group (PPWG), comprised of a cross-section of leading pharmacy experts, will lead the development of this future-forward role for Canadian pharmacists

“The profession of pharmacy must continue to evolve to a broader, well-defined scope of practice if we are to meet the ever-changing and growing health care needs of Canadians. While we have achieved tremendous advances over the past decade, particularly in Alberta, Canadians still don’t have uniform access across the country to pharmacists practicing at their fullest scope,” added Krawchenko.

Both governments and Canadians need a clear understanding of what a fully enabled pharmacist can do and of the inherent benefit and economic value to patient care and the health care system.

The Professional Practice Working Group will help identify practice and economic research required to support its vision for a harmonized national scope of pharmacy practice. Relevant front-line pharmacy practice tools will also be developed by CPhA in tandem with professional development courses to consistently advance practice at the grassroots level.

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About the Canadian Pharmacists Association

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca.