Saskatoon

Sask. pharmacists given more prescribing powers under new deal

Under a new agreement with the Sask. government, the province's pharmacists will be able to prescribe medications for ailments and conditions such as urinary tract infections and erectile dysfunction. The new deal also gives pharmacists the ability to give flu shots to people in assisted living homes.

Pharmacists in Sask. can now give flu shots to shut-ins in their dwellings and to younger children

Pancap Pharma would redevelop the Howard Ave. property in two phases.  (Government of Saskatchewan)

Pharmacists in Saskatchewan have been given more power to prescribe medication for minor ailments.

The approximately 1,700 pharmacists in the province now also have the ability to give flu shots to more age groups.

It's all part of a new one-year agreement between the provincial government and the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan.

The Ministry of Health has been expanding pharmacist-prescribing services in recent years through its Minor Ailment Program.

As of November 1, that list will include 10 new minor ailments and self-care conditions — including uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women, hormonal and emergency contraceptives, erectile dysfunction and smoking cessation.

The list of new ailments and conditions also includes conjunctivitis (pink eye), shingles, onychomycosis (fungal nail infection), influenza and obesity.

Under the new agreement, there will now be a total of 25 minor ailments and conditions that Saskatchewan pharmacists will be compensated for prescribing medication.

Meanwhile, pharmacists in the province are now funded to give flu shots to children aged five to eight and people living in personal care homes and assisted living apartments.

That change took effect on October 22.

Previously, pharmacists could only give flu shots to people aged nine and older at pharmacies only.

"The agreement will help community pharmacies maintain outstanding service for patients, while absorbing increased operating expenses," pharmacy association chair Paul Bazin said in a release.

The new agreement also establishes a new Injection Administration Fee Program that will compensate pharmacists for providing injections of a long-acting birth control medication.

The prescription dispensing fee of Saskatchewan pharmacists will also increase 20 cents to $11.60.

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