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Health and Community Services
December 4, 2012

Increased Public Protection Main Focus of New Pharmacy Act

To ensure full accountability and the utmost public protection, the Provincial Government is proposing new legislation to replace the existing Pharmacy Act. The act received Second Reading in the House of Assembly today.

“As with all provincial statutes, our government’s main goal is to ensure legislation is relevant and that appropriate safeguards are always in place to maintain the highest level of public safety possible,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services. “The proposed new Pharmacy Act will substantially enhance the quality assurance measures available to the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board, and its governance structure will be modified to include more representation from the public and Memorial University’s School of Pharmacy.”

The new statute will expand the regulation-making authority of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board to address the expansion of the pharmacist scope of practice. One of the areas under consideration for the regulations is allowing pharmacists to give injections such as the flu shot.

“Pharmacists are uniquely trained to assess medication appropriateness, safety and to collaborate with other health care professionals to ensure patients achieve optimal health outcomes,” said Ray Gulliver, Chair, Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board. “This legislation will enable and support pharmacists to provide quality pharmacy care to the fullest extent of their education and training.”

In addition, under the new act, pharmacy technicians will be required to register with the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board. Prior to registration, technicians will be required to complete an approved education program and a national examination. Pharmacy technicians will also be subject to quality assurance, discipline and continuing education requirements. The presence of registered pharmacy technicians at pharmacies throughout the province will help pharmacists practice to their full scope.

“The mandatory registration of pharmacy technicians is consistent with trends across the country,” said Minister Sullivan. “Pharmacy technician registration will allow residents to benefit from improved access to health care services by pharmacists for services such as patient counselling and medication management.”

The new Pharmacy Act also includes provisions for the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board to address evolving technology issues in pharmacy such as electronic prescribing and telepharmacy, which will improve access to pharmaceutical services throughout the province, particularly in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Media contact:
Jennifer Tulk
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 699-6524

2012 12 04                                9:55 p.m.

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