The momentum continues as pharmacists in Yukon and NL see scope further expanded
On the heels of Pharmacy Appreciation Month, April has already brought 2 exciting new government announcements to expand the scope of practice for pharmacists in Canada. Recent announcements by the governments of Yukon and Newfoundland and Labrador are the latest in a trend playing out across the country, as provinces and territories are increasingly turning to pharmacists to improve access to health-care services in our communities.
Yukon: More temporary authorities become permanent
On April 3, The Government of Yukon announced that pharmacists are now authorized to prescribe and administer travel and publicly funded vaccines for Yukoners aged 5 and over. The scope of practice for Yukon pharmacists has steadily expanded over the past year as the government makes authorities that were introduced on a temporary basis under the COVID-19 State of Emergency permanent. Other authorities that have been made permanent include prescribing for common ailments, smoking cessation, prescription extensions and more.
Newfoundland and Labrador: More minor ailments added, contraception prescribing and funding for universal access
On April 4, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced a number of measures to improve access to health care in the province. Pharmacists are now able to extend prescriptions to a maximum of 12 months (previously 90 days). They have also been granted the authority to assess and prescribe for 4 new minor ailments, including conjunctivitis, fungal nail infections, herpes zoster (shingles) and uncomplicated urinary tract infections. NL has also become the latest province to allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraception.
An exciting day for pharmacists in NL who have been granted expansions to their scope of practice to better serve our province!— Kara O'Keefe, PharmD (@kara_okeefe) April 4, 2023
It was a proud moment for me to watch my friend Dr. Janice Audeau address fellow pharmacists and patients across the province in this announcement. pic.twitter.com/980J1xdSpB
The province has also been working with the Pharmacists’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure these expanded services are universally available. An investment of approximately $16.6 million has been dedicated to support coverage of the pharmacist’s fees to allow universal access to these expanded services at community pharmacies.
Take a look at our cross-Canada scope of practice chart for a detailed look at scope across jurisdictions.