You don’t have to be a doctor to use a 24 hour pharmacist
Posted November 03, 2018 01:00:18 For the first time, the Pharmacy Benefit Plan of Canada has issued a rule allowing Canadians to use 24 hour pharmacies as long as the pharmacy’s primary location is within the country.
Pharmacists are now required to make their own arrangements to dispense medications at the designated hours, according to a press release from the Pharmacists Association of Canada.
“As Canadians work more closely with their doctors and health care providers, they are able to use pharmacists when needed to make decisions on the most convenient, appropriate and cost-effective way to manage their care,” said Chris Mankov, President of the Pharmacies Association of Canadian.
“This is a critical step toward allowing Canadians access to affordable, quality and accessible access to their medicines at a time when they need it most.”
For example, an individual can use a pharmacy at a home location, but an individual with a chronic illness can’t use a home pharmacy.
For some of these individuals, it might be too expensive to use the same home pharmacy every day.
To make it easier for people to access medications, the government has issued rules to set up pharmacies within provinces and territories.
For now, the rule allows pharmacies to dispence prescriptions at designated hours in their home province and by appointment, in the province of residence, or on site at the home pharmacy where they live.
The rules also allow for pharmacies to offer “local” and “local-out” pharmacies, where pharmacies can dispense prescription medication by appointment in an area with limited or no availability of the prescribed medication.
Pharmacy benefit plans are also making it easier to manage the prescription drug supply by providing information to Canadians about their pharmacy plans.
For example, a plan may offer to provide free prescription medications for patients who don’t use prescription medication, a prescription drug discount card, or a rebate program, or offer to purchase medicines from pharmacies in their area.
“We know from experience that patients are able and willing to pay the premiums for prescriptions, and we are encouraging them to do so,” said Tim Gervais, CEO of the Canadian Pharmacists Guild.
“As Canadians continue to access healthcare, they will be better equipped to manage medications for themselves and their families.”
The Pharmacy Association of Ontario says it has not seen a change in access to medications for people with chronic illnesses since the government issued its rule.
However, the Association does say it is encouraging pharmacists to be more transparent and honest when prescribing medication.
“It is essential that pharmacists and health-care professionals are in a position to make accurate, timely and equitable decisions on all medications, whether they are prescribed at home or in a prescribed-out location,” said Dr. Elizabeth McVety, Executive Director of the Ontario Pharmacists Council.
“While pharmacies can be helpful to people with a health problem, we are always concerned that pharmacist practices and their relationships with patients are being impacted by pharmaceutical price increases and drug shortages.”