Quebec pharmacists will soon be able to prescribe, administer vaccines
Pharmacists will also be able to prescribe over-the-counter medications as part of new, expanded powers
Quebec pharmacists will soon be granted additional responsibilities, including the ability to prescribe and administer vaccines, as part of the provincial government's plan to make health care services more accessible.
Pharmacists will be able to provide vaccination services to any patient six years old and up, according to several sources consulted by Radio-Canada.
Pharmacists will not be able to vaccinate children under six years old due to the complexity of the vaccination schedule.
All other provinces allow pharmacists to administer vaccines after training that includes a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course.
In other provinces, allowing pharmacists to give vaccines led to an increase in the vaccination rate.
For example, the rate of coverage for influenza increased from 35 to 40 per cent in two years after pharmacists began offering the vaccine in Nova Scotia.
Flexibility in adjusting prescriptions
In addition to the ability to vaccinate, pharmacists will have more flexibility when it comes to which drugs are prescribed and administered to patients.
Currently the law allows pharmacist to adjust the prescription of a Quebec doctor.
Under new regulations, pharmacists will have the right to adjust a prescriptions made outside of Quebec.
Pharmacists will also be able to adjust prescriptions made by dentists or nurses.
As well, pharmacists will be able to prescribe over-the-counter medications.
Currently, over-the-counter medications are reimbursed by Quebec or insurance companies if they are prescribed.
The new measure would allow pharmacists to prescribe these drugs, thus preventing some people from paying the cost of purchase out of pocket.
The government is expected to introduce these new measures as part of Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann's push to improve access to health services.
The provincial government is expected to formally announce the new measures on Thursday.
Earlier this year, the health minister expanded the powers of nurse practitioners to diagnose certain illnesses as part of that effort.
Based on a report by Radio-Canada's Davide Gentile