Canadian Pharmacists Association

Canadian Pharmacists Association

October 22, 2009 10:54 ET

Alberta Strategy Promotes Significant Change for Pharmacy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2009) - The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) welcomes the commitment made by the Government of Alberta Health and Wellness ministry to work with pharmacists and pharmacy organizations on a transition strategy supportive of a new reimbursement model for professional services provided by pharmacists to meet the health care needs of Albertans. Pharmacists in Alberta have the broadest scope of practice of all Canadian pharmacists, including prescribing authority. It is important that the pharmacy transition group and the Alberta government take full advantage of this opportunity to develop and implement professional services. Health and Wellness Minister, Ronald Liepert, appears willing to support appropriate collaborative practice models between pharmacists and physicians. This willingness should be built upon.

Compensation models, to support the expanded role pharmacists now play in primary health care, are critical to ensuring optimal drug therapy outcomes for Albertans. However, the changes put forward in Phase Two of the Alberta Pharmaceutical Strategy will have significant impact on pharmacy funding. Changes to the pricing system for generic drugs for example, are likely to reduce the overall compensation paid to pharmacies for providing pharmacy services.

CPhA supports the steps put in place in the government's proposal to mitigate the short term impact of these changes as a stronger transition plan is worked out. An increase in dispensing fees is essential to sustain viability and support transition.

A further innovation that CPhA supports in principle is a "points" based system to support pharmacies in rural and remote areas as they work to manage through the transition created by the changes in funding models for generic drugs.

The December 1, 2009 timeline established to have a plan in place for transition to a new compensation model for pharmacist professional services is a very aggressive and possibly unrealistic timeline. However work already done as a part of the Blueprint for Pharmacy initiative, led by CPhA, has laid out some of the ground that such a plan needs to cover.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association is the national, professional association of pharmacists, advocating for, and supporting its members, to advance the profession and enhance patient outcomes.

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