Beginning April 1, pharmacists in Alberta, Canada, will be able to write prescriptions after they have completed an orientation program.
Beginning April 1, pharmacists in Alberta, Canada, will be able to write prescriptions after they have completed an orientation program. The new powers come as a result of a major rewriting of Alberta's Standards of Pharmacy Practice, which will permit pharmacists to prescribe under both emergency and nonemergency conditions. For emergency situations, a pharmacist can write a prescription when he or she is "satisfied that it is not reasonably possible for the patient to see another health professional to obtain the prescription" and that there is an immediate need. In addition, pharmacists will be permitted to write prescriptions following an examination of the patient or in collaboration with other healthcare professionals in nonemergency situations. Pharmacists will also be allowed to change existing prescriptions. The new standards also stipulate that a different pharmacist is required to fill the prescription, unless the patient chooses to have the pharmacist fill the prescription.