The College is working with the Ministry of Health to expand the scope of practice for pharmacy professionals. Specifically, the College was directed by the Minister to submit draft regulations that would enable pharmacists to:
- Administer the flu vaccine to children as young as two years old;
- Renew prescriptions in quantities of up to a year’s supply;
- Administer certain substances by injection and/or inhalation for purposes that are in addition to patient education and demonstration;
- Perform point of care tests for certain chronic conditions; and
- Prescribe drugs for certain minor ailments.
Proposed regulatory amendments for the first four items of scope will be submitted to the government by November 30, 2019. The College is also recommending to the government that additional education to administer the flu vaccine to children aged two to five years old will be voluntary and left to the professional discretion of the pharmacy professional, and that existing drug lists for authorized substances that can be administered by injection and/or inhalation be replaced with drug categories.
The government must review and approve these proposed changes, and will determine when they will take effect. The authority to perform point of care tests also requires regulatory changes to the Laboratory and Specimen Collection Centre Licensing Act, which will be managed by the Ministry. These amendments will determine which tests be can be performed.
The College has been directed to submit draft regulations by June 30, 2020 to the government to permit pharmacist prescribing for certain minor ailments.
Pharmacy professionals who would like to provide initial feedback on this change in scope will have an opportunity to do so in the near future, prior to a broader open public consultation in 2020.
The College has also established a Minor Ailments Advisory Group, comprising patient advisors as well as experts in pharmacy, medicine, public health, health systems research, and anti-microbial stewardship. The advisory group’s role is to provide guidance and recommendations to the College on regulatory, policy, implementation and evaluation considerations, with a view to improving health outcomes and health-system quality while ensuring patient safety.
Read the MAAG’s Terms of Reference.
The College has been and will continue to consult broadly with pharmacy professionals, the public and stakeholders as it moves forward with this work, and will provide further information on expanded scope of practice as it becomes available.
Check this webpage often and watch for updates in e-Connect and Pharmacy Connection for additional details on planned engagement opportunities, as well as the latest developments regarding expanding scope of practice.