Prescription renewal made easier
Published Monday, February 13, 2012 12:48PM MST
The government is expanding the role of pharmacists and is adding up to 1000 new locations for patients to renew prescriptions.
Starting on July 1, 2012, Albertans will be able to have their prescriptions renewed at their local pharmacies and pharmacists will now be paid to provide the service.
"Essentially, we are opening 1,000 new locations to get prescriptions renewed which will provide Albertans with more access, more options and more convenience," said Fred Horne, Minister of Health and Wellness. "This initiative also supports physicians by freeing up time to see more patients, especially those with complex health needs."
"Expanding pharmacy clinical services is good news for pharmacists and good news for Albertans," said Neil Cameron, President of the Alberta Pharmacists' Association. "Together with other pharmacy stakeholders and the Alberta government, we will move forward with fully implementing Alberta's new Pharmacy Services Framework later this year. This will ensure community pharmacists are in the best position to grow in their role as coordinators of drug therapy management that results in better patient health outcomes."
The Alberta government will also reduce the price it pays for generic prescription drugs on July 1 and will pass that savings on to Albertans.
The price reduction means the province will save about $85 million in 2012/13 and as a result Albertans will see a cost savings in the price they pay for generic medications.
$5.3 million dollars will be available in 2012/13 as part of a new three-year, $15.9-million Remote Pharmacy Access Grant to help pharmacies in Alberta's remote communities expand their services and adjust to the lower generic drug prices.
"The new three-year grant is designed to provide assistance to Alberta's small community pharmacies should they qualify'" said Horne. "We want to make sure that Albertans living in remote communities have access to pharmacists and pharmacy services to help them stay healthy."
Funding for the remote access grant and other expanded services will come from money saved from the new lower generic drug prices.
There are currently 1013 pharmacies in the province.