Your pharmacist can take care of 5 health care roles

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If you’ve been going to your pharmacist for just prescriptions, you have been missing out on an assortment of services that your local pharmacist can provide for you – and their vision for the future could help even more patients achieve their health outcomes.

Beyond filling prescriptions, the role of Ontario’s pharmacists also includes:

• Administering flu shots

• Providing smoking cessation counselling and prescribing medications (when appropriate) to support some patients who want to quit smoking

• Providing MedsCheck medication reviews at no charge for eligible patients

• Adapting and renewing prescriptions (when appropriate)

• Helping patients meet their health and wellness goals by providing information and support on a wide variety of health-related topics

“Pharmacists are the medication experts on your healthcare team, but we’re also available to provide services over and above filling your prescriptions – from doing a MedsCheck review or giving you the flu shot, to helping you quit smoking or better manage your diabetes,” notes Sean Simpson, Chair of the Board at the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA). “But there is so much more pharmacists could be doing to improve patient outcomes if the role of pharmacists in Ontario was expanded to include some of the services that are available through pharmacies in other provinces.”

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In almost every other province, patients can visit their pharmacist for immunizations beyond just flu shots, as well as for the assessment and treatment of common ailments like pink eye, eczema or diaper rash – ensuring that non-critical patients don’t tie up emergency rooms and doctors’ offices. Currently, Ontario is one of only a few provinces that hasn’t expanded pharmacists’ role in these ways.

By leveraging the unique expertise and accessibility of pharmacy professionals, Ontario has the opportunity to reduce healthcare costs and reallocate system resources to where they are most needed and will ultimately improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system.

Join the #PharmacistsOfferMore conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit or follow @OntPharmacists to ask questions.  -NewsCanada

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