Not many pharmacists prescribing medication
Published Tuesday, November 16, 2010 5:18PM MST
Pharmacists were given the ability to prescribe medication under a new plan introduced a few years ago to take some pressure off family doctors.
But since the plan took off, only 107 of the more than 4,000 pharmacists in Alberta have signed up.
Anjli Acharya was one of the few pharmacists who applied. She said she can now prescribe to her patients at the Bowmont travel clinic.
But she said the application process took four months of work. She also doesn't get paid to prescribe drugs.
Those are some of the reasons many pharmacists haven't applied, says Todd Gehring, who owns and operates his own community pharmacy.
He says prescribing medication takes time and pharmacists need to be paid appropriately.
"Until there's some financial incentive to do it, we provide a lot of services for free, and it's hard to run a business when you're giving everything away for free," he says.
Three associations which represent Alberta pharmacists are currently negotiating fees with Alberta Health and Wellness, and more meetings are planned for December.
All Alberta pharmacists can still renew or adjust a prescription, or write a new prescription in an emergency situation.