Yukon government to regulate pharmacies

The Yukon government is working on legislation that will govern pharmacies and rural dispensaries. The act proposes a code of ethics, licensing requirements and standards.

Legislation includes code of ethics, licensing requirements, standards

The Yukon government hopes to modernize pharmacy legislation in the territory and is looking for public feedback. (CBC)

The Yukon is working on legislation that will govern pharmacies and rural dispensaries, bringing the territory in line with other Canadian provinces. 

Until now, the Yukon has been one of few jurisdictions in the country without legislation to govern pharmacies. 

Whitehorse pharmacist Tracee Vickerman is pleased with the proposed legislation. (CBC)
"I'm thrilled, very excited, because we've never had a pharmacy act before,so there's been nothing to govern how pharmacies are supposed to carry out their day-to-day business," says Whitehorse pharmacist Tracee Vickerman. 

The new act was drafted with advice from doctors' and nurses' associations, the Yukon Hospital Corporation, and the Yukon Pharmacists Association.

If the act is passed, it will mean that for the first time in the territory, the pharmacy industry will have a code of ethics, licensing requirements, and legislated standards. The proposed act also provides for accountability through inspections, a complaint system and a process for discipline and fines.

The official opposition wonders if Yukon pharmacists will be allowed to provide other services that the provinces already permit.

Yukon NDP health critic Jan Stick hopes the proposed legislation will expand the services Yukon pharmacists can provide. (CBC)
"Flu shots, or read results from blood work, they can do emergency prescriptions, and these are things right now that pharmacists in the Yukon can not do," says NDP MLA Jan Stick.  

"I'm hoping that the regulations will allow for a lot more, because I see pharmacists as part of that whole collaborative care model." 

A government official says many details will be worked out in the regulations, such as the rules for rural dispensaries that are owned by doctors.

A draft of the legislation, the Pharmacy and Drug Act, is open for public comment until March 6th.