New Government Funding Provides Expanded Pharmacy Services

Today, I was so proud to visit two local pharmacies: Rockingham’s Guardian Pharmacy and the Shoppers Drug Mart on Lacewood Drive to discuss the new regulation starting January 1st, where pharmacists will be funded by the province to prescribe birth control, shingles and medications for urinary tract infections. Following on April 1st, pharmacists will additionally be funded to renew prescriptions for 180 days for items such as asthma inhalers and blood pressure medications.

People across the Province of Nova Scotia have more accessible and affordable options in regards to the care they need under this new agreement with pharmacists; This role allows pharmacists to fill the gap, not usurp doctors.

At Guardian Pharmacy, Pharmacist Robin Ogilvie says that there will be training on appropriate prescribing of birth control medications, as well as counselling and screening against violence… Not to mention, building a stronger rapport with your local pharmacist.

This process only used to be covered under Pharmacare, however, under the new agreement, it is funded for all Nova Scotians with a valid Nova Scotia health card.

Down the street at Shoppers Drug Mart, Ghada Gabr is equally as excited. Ghada tells me that all of her pharmacists are on board with all the necessary training and that the walk-in clinic next to her drugstore is working with them and sending over patients who they are unable to serve, or to avoid long waiting times.

This agreement has been long anticipated; It will allow pharmacists to use the training they have received in their scope of practice, and will surely alleviate a lot of the high volumes we see in doctors offices and walk-in clinics — at a faster pace.

In Nova Scotia today, there are more than 300 pharmacies, employing 1,300 pharmacists.

To read the ‘Standards of Practice: Prescribing Drugs,’ please visit:…/…/05/SOP_PrescribingDrugs.pdf

Thank you to Ghada and Robin for taking the time to chat with me about these exciting changes and your vision to help increase access to healthcare in Nova Scotia.