Manitoba

Man. pharmacists to get prescription power

Pharmacists in Manitoba have voted in favour of new regulations that will allow them to prescribe medication for minor ailments.

Pharmacists in Manitoba have voted in favour of new regulations that will allow them to prescribe medication for minor ailments like rashes and infections.

Ron Guse, spokesman for the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association, said pharmacists will also be able to order some diagnostic tests, giving patients more convenience.

"It's all part of the plan of trying to best utilize the health care providers in the system already in their knowledge and abilities," Guse said.

"If there's some blood level or a lab result needed, rather than having to have the patient then go to the physician, that can happen at the pharmacy."

The province's 2006 Pharmaceutical Act, which received royal assent but has yet to be proclaimed in force, would allow pharmacists to write prescriptions, administer drugs, and order and interpret diagnostic tests, all subject to regulations specifying for what conditions and under what circumstances.

Pharmacists voted against the first draft of those regulations in 2008.

The province expects the act and the latest set of proposed regulations to be implemented next year.