Pharmacy Services

There are more reasons than ever to visit your Pharmacist

Assessing/Prescribing for Minor Ailments

Skip the doctor’s office for things like seasonal allergies and skin rashes

Chronic Disease Management

Diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions – your pharmacist can help with that

Quitting Smoking

Support, advice and tools to help you live smoke-free

Injections and Vaccinations

Flu shots, travel vaccines and other injections – close to home, without the wait

Managing your Medications

Get the most out of your medications

Healthy Lifestyle Advice

How to live your healthiest life

What does this look like across Canada?

ASSESSING AND PRESCRIBING FOR MINOR AILMENTS

Skip the doctor’s office for things like seasonal allergies and skin rashes

  • Minor ailments are considered less serious medical conditions. They can often be treated through self-care or over-the-counter and prescription medications
  • Pharmacists in most provinces can assess your condition and prescribe a medication, if they feel that it’s the right treatment option for you
  • This means that your pharmacist can treat uncomplicated conditions and help you avoid lengthy waits to see your family physician or trips to the emergency clinic
WHAT TO EXPECT
  • Your pharmacist will meet with you in a private consultation room
  • Your pharmacist will ask you about your symptoms, other conditions you may have, what medications you take, and other information needed for a thorough assessment
  • Your pharmacist will then determine if prescribing a medication to treat your condition is the appropriate course of action
  • In more complicated cases, your pharmacist may refer you to another health care provider
MINOR AILMENTS ACROSS CANADA
  • Only pharmacists in certain provinces have the authority through their provincial governments to assess and prescribe for minor ailments
  • Where pharmacists can provide this service, there is still considerable variation between provinces in the number of conditions or types of drugs included in this service
WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE ACROSS CANADA
BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PEI NL NWT YT NU

For More: Detailed Chart – Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice in Canada

ASSESSING/PRESCRIBING FOR UTIs 

  • Nearly half of all women will experience a UTI by the time they are in their early 30s
  • Pharmacists in some provinces can assess and prescribe for uncomplicated UTIs and a number of other common ailments
  • This means you can be treated for UTIs by your pharmacist to avoid lengthy waits to see your family doctor or trips to the emergency clinic
WHAT TO EXPECT
  • Your pharmacist will meet with you in a private consultation room
  • Your pharmacist will ask you about your UTI symptoms, other conditions you may have, what medications you take, and other information needed for a thorough assessment
  • Your pharmacist will then determine if prescribing a medication to treat your condition is the appropriate course of action
  • In more complicated cases, your pharmacist may refer you to another health care provider
BENEFITS OF PHARMACIST CARE
  • In a recent study of 750 patients with uncomplicated UTIs, 89% reported resolved symptoms after being treated by a pharmacist
  • Over 90% of these patients were satisfied with the treatment received by a pharmacist and more than 95% would recommend seeing a pharmacist for UTI treatment.
WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE ACROSS CANADA
BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PEI NL NWT YT NU

For More: Detailed Chart – Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice in Canada

INJECTIONS AND VACCINATIONS

Flu shots, travel vaccines and other injections — close to home, without the wait

  • Each year, the flu causes more than 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada
  • Flu viruses change each year, and experts create a new vaccine to protect Canadians each flu season
  • The flu shot is the most effective protection against the flu. By protecting yourself against the flu virus, you are also protecting those around you
  • Pharmacists can give other injections like the shingles, HPV and travel vaccines to adults and children over a certain age
WHAT TO EXPECT
  • It’s easy to book an appointment with your pharmacist to get a flu shot or another vaccine
  • You can often make same-day appointments for the whole family and many pharmacies are open on evenings and weekends
  • Pharmacists who give flu shots and other injections must have comprehensive training, including CPR and first aid
BENEFITS
  • Getting your flu shot from a pharmacist is quick and convenient, and the cost is covered by most provincial drug plans
  • Most pharmacies offer same-day appointments for you and your whole family
  • Every year, more people are getting the flu shot from their trusted neighbourhood pharmacist

Did you know that in 2017-2018, pharmacists in Canada gave close to 3 million flu shots!  

 

WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE ACROSS CANADA
BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PEI NL NWT YT NU

For More: Detailed Chart – Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice in Canada

MANAGING YOUR MEDICATIONS

Get the most out of your medications

  • In 2016, nearly two-thirds (65.7%) of Canadian seniors were prescribed 5 or more different drugs. More than one-quarter (26.5%) of seniors were prescribed 10 or more different drugs and 8.4% of seniors were prescribed 15 or more drugs
  • Older Canadians are at an increased risk of adverse drug reactions. Because of their slowing metabolism and the slowing of drugs leaving their body, this risk increases with each new medication they are prescribed
  • Patients with chronic conditions may also have complicated drug regimens, putting them at an increased risk of adverse drug reactions
  • Pharmacists across Canada offer medication review services to help patients make sure they’re getting the most out of their medications
WHAT TO EXPECT

When you sit down with your pharmacist for a medication consultation, your pharmacist can help you:

  • Resolve problems related to medication use, like reading medication labels, opening medication bottles, understanding the instructions, swallowing pills or knowing and remembering when to take each medication
  • Understand which foods or activities to avoid when taking your medications
  • Learn to use tools like blood glucose meters and understand the results
  • Simplify complicated drug regimens by creating a schedule or a convenient blister pack for all your medications so that you know what to take and when
  • Resolve adverse drug reactions by identifying where the problem is coming from and help you switch to another drug or work with your prescriber to help you stop taking the drug completely
BENEFITS
  • Pharmacists are located in every community and are often available on evenings and weekends to discuss your medications
  • Pharmacists communicate with your doctor and health care team to make sure that everyone is informed of your medication treatment plan and any necessary changes
WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE ACROSS CANADA
BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PEI NL NWT YT NU

For More: Detailed Chart – Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice in Canada

CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT

 
What are chronic conditions?

Chronic conditions can’t usually be prevented with a vaccine or be cured with medication. They usually affect patients for a long time. Chronic conditions or diseases include cardiovascular disease, COPD, cancer, asthma, mental health, chronic pain, arthritis, dementia, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, etc.

  • Pharmacists are part of each patient’s health care team and they collaborate with doctors and nurses to help you achieve your health goals
  • Your pharmacist can help you better understand your disease and get the most out of your medications
  • Your pharmacist can monitor your health, look out for changes and adapt your drug therapy based on these changes
  • Pharmacists can suggest diet and lifestyle changes that may help their patients’ conditions

People living with chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes need extra care from their health care providers, including their pharmacist.

DIABETES
  • Pharmacists can help identify your risk for diabetes and provide blood glucose testing to determine if you should see your family doctor for a diagnosis
  • Pharmacists can provide patients with education about how to properly monitor glucose levels and help patients create individualized diabetes strategies, including an action plan for when sugar levels drop too low
  • Pharmacists can also help patients understand and manage the side effects from their diabetes medications or help switch patients to alternative medications
  • Pharmacists can also help patients understand how to administer insulin
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
  • High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the number one risk factor for disease and premature death worldwide. It affects one quarter of the world’s population
  • Pharmacists across Canada offer services to help patients manage their high blood pressure through monitoring, education, referrals and, in some provinces, prescribing or adapting medication
WHAT TO EXPECT
  • You and your pharmacist will meet in a private consultation room
  • Your pharmacist will take your blood pressure, look over your past readings and review your antihypertensive medications to make sure they are working well for you
  • Your pharmacist can provide counselling about your cardiovascular risk and strategies to control your blood pressure
  • Your pharmacist can make changes to your medication, such as adjusting a dosage, formulation or regimen, to best suit your needs
  • Pharmacists with special authorization in Alberta can also prescribe most medications taken for chronic and other conditions to address your unique needs
  • Pharmacists in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia can also prescribe most medications if they have a formal collaborative care agreement with your doctor
  • Pharmacists working in hospitals across Canada can manage and prescribe medications according to their hospitals’ rules and the collaborative practices they have with hospital nurses and doctors
 
WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE ACROSS CANADA
BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PEI NL NWT YT NU

For More: Detailed Chart – Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice in Canada

PRESCRIBING SMOKING CESSATION MEDICATIONS

Support, advice and tools to help you live smoke free

  • The latest Statistics Canada data show that 1 in 5 Canadians smoke
  • Smoking has a major impact on your health, and smokers can lose up to 9 years of life expectancy
  • It’s never too late to quit! After only one year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is cut in half, and after 5 years smoke-free your chance of stroke is the same as that of a lifelong non-smoker
  • Pharmacists can help you decide if you’re ready to quit, prepare you to quit, provide counselling, monitor your progress, and recommend and prescribe smoking cessation aids and medications
WHAT TO EXPECT
  • You can talk to your pharmacist at any time for support and guidance around quitting smoking
  • When you’re ready to try quitting, your pharmacist will sit down with you for a consultation to create a quitting plan
  • Your pharmacist will inform you about the different quit smoking aids available and determine if medication therapy is right for you
  • In all provinces except BC, your pharmacist can also prescribe medication that will help you quit, or they can send a medication recommendation to your doctor. Many medications to help you quit are covered by drug insurance plans
BENEFITS
  • Quit smoking rates are doubled when patients take medication to help them quit
  • When patients take medication and receive counselling, this can increase quit rates six-fold
PHARMACIST PRESCRIBING

Pharmacists in most provinces can prescribe medication to help you quit smoking, but laws have not been passed in BC to allow pharmacists to do this.

 

WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE ACROSS CANADA
BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PEI NL NWT YT NU

For More: Detailed Chart – Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice in Canada

HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ADVICE

How to live your healthiest life

Pharmacists can provide education, advice and referrals to patients about a range of health topics. These include:

  • Vitamins
  • Vaccines
  • Healthy diet and lifestyle advice
  • Quitting smoking
  • Preventative health and screening
  • Health concerns and symptoms
WHAT TO EXPECT
  • If you’re not comfortable asking your pharmacist something at the pharmacy counter, ask to speak with them in the private counselling room
  • Your pharmacist will listen to your questions or concerns and offer you expert medical advice. This can include advising you to visit your doctor or clinic right away
BENEFITS
  • A healthy lifestyle has both short- and long-term health benefits. Long-term, eating a balanced diet, taking regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can add years to your life and reduce the risk of certain diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and obesity
WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE ACROSS CANADA
BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PEI NL NWT YT NU

For More: Detailed Chart – Pharmacists’ Scope of Practice in Canada