The Pharmacist Is In!

February 22, 2012

Pharmacists in part of Canada will soon be paid to refill certain prescriptions, a move that should be considered in the United States as well.

A recent story in the Edmonton Journal stated that beginning this coming July, patients will be able to get their asthma inhalers, birth control pills, and blood pressure medication refilled by their pharmacists, who will be paid $20 for this role. This is a cost-saving measure because doctors are currently paid $35 for the same function in the Alberta health system.

Could this also suggest that this particular local government in Canada is recognizing the pharmacist as a key health team member drug expert and is comfortable giving them an expanded role? I think this new responsibility will be good for both patients and pharmacy and should be seriously considered for here in the United States. It certainly moves us from focusing on having the right pills in the bottle to making sure the drug is needed and is being used properly.