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Sask. pharmacists can soon prescribe for chronic illnesses


A new advanced pharmacy prescribing training program at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) would allow pharmacists to prescribe medication for chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart failure.

It’s a pivotal moment for health care in the province, according to Danielle Larocque, associate director of the U of S pharmacy education unit.

“Pharmacists will be stepping away from the dispensing role and they’ll be focusing on this, so pharmacy and health care in Saskatchewan will look different,” she said.

Larocque believes it will help alleviate pressure on the health care system.

“With the doctor shortage and patients struggling to find a primary care provider, this will be a new avenue for them to access service,” she said.

The program is the first of its kind in Canada, according to the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (SCPP). It’s geared towards pharmacists who are already licensed and practising.

“The way we’re designing the program is that they can take it on the side, it shouldn’t impact their current practice while they’re training,” Larocque said.

The goal is to have those pharmacists prescribing for chronic illnesses by next spring. (Stacey Hein/CTV News)

The province committed $137,000 to help get the program up and running.

“We’re very proud of being able to provide funding to the College of Pharmacy to develop a course to allow pharmacists to work to their full scope of practice,” Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant said.

Pharmacists got positive feedback when they were given the ability to independently prescribe some medications, order lab tests, and conduct point of care testing last June, said SCCP president Tania Schroeder.

“Often times patients are very grateful and thankful that the issue was resolved just at the pharmacy level,” she said.

Schroeder said pharmacist are “looking forward” to the new program.

“With their new abilities to do advanced prescribing, they’re eager and a bit anxious,” she said.

The first group is expected to start training in January 2025. The goal is to have those pharmacists prescribing for chronic illnesses by next spring. Top Stories

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