The Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec calls for legislative changes to relieve the congestion of the health system and reduce wait time.

In a proposal it submitted to the Government of Québec and to its partners it called for legislative changes by the end of 2011-

“Seven days a week, pharmacists in Québec are forced to send their patients back to the walk-in clinic or emergency room just to get their prescriptions renewed or dosage adjusted,” says Diane Lamarre, the Order’s president. “The same thing happens when people come to them with simple health problems they could treat; it makes no sense.”

The Ordre’s proposed bill asks that pharmacists are enabled to contribute more effectively to the health system.
“Everyday the skills of these highly educated health professionals are poorly utilized, depriving the public of this resource,” says Lamarre. “People ask pharmacists for help and the pharmacists want and can do more, but current legislation prevents them from doing so.”

The current situation demands that changes be made rapidly, she said. “The needs of the public are such that we’re counting on the legislation becoming effective by the end of the year,” says Lamarre. Many of these activities are already being performed by pharmacists in other Canadian provinces, and in some cases, for a number of years.

The proposed changes would enable pharmacists to do the following:

  1. extend some prescriptions in accordance with precise criteria, in stable clinical situations;
  2. adapt a prescription when necessary, for example, based on the patient’s weight or allergies;
  3. help resolve simple health problems like cold sores and seasonal allergies;
  4. order certain laboratory tests, for example, to monitor the safety of a course of treatment (e.g., kidney function);
  5. administer certain medications for the purpose of teaching patients how to do it (e.g., asthma inhalers) or to help meet public health objectives (e.g. vaccinations).

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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