British Columbia Pharmacy Association

British Columbia Pharmacy Association

June 05, 2008 16:37 ET

Media Release: More Power for Pharmacists Could Help Reduce Medication Side Effects

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 5, 2008) - Valuable lessons can be learned from the recent study on ER visits and medication side effects in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"There is great opportunity with the expansion of pharmacy practice to reduce the level of medication error," Marnie Mitchell, CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association. "We are greatly looking forward to a larger scope of practice in the coming months."

Recent steps by the government to further the responsibilities of pharmacists will give pharmacists a more prominent role in the health-care team. In addition, the May release of the Pharmaceutical Task Force report called government to negotiate with pharmacists to develop new and innovative practices, to improve effective drug utilization and better patient engagement.

"The upcoming negotiations with the government for clinical services by pharmacists will be an opportunity for pharmacists to emphasize their important role in patient safety," said Mitchell. "Pharmacists are the medication experts-the entire health care system needs to allow them to use their full skill set. Also, the authority to adapt prescriptions will improve the public's access to drug therapies and the BCPhA hopes we will see a long-term reduction in medication errors and the ER visits mentioned in the journal."

The new adaption power of pharmacists was formalized by the College of Pharmacists earlier this year with Professional Practice Policy 58. This fall B.C. pharmacists will begin the orientation program to expand their practices.

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