Provincial funding expands pharmacy services

(Government of Saskatchewan/Supplied)

The provincial government and the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan (PAS) have committed to a one-year agreement.

One topic of consensus is expanding who can get a flu shot from a pharmacist.

Previously under the publicly-funded vaccination program, they could only give the shot to those over 9-years-old at a pharmacy.

Because of new provincial funding, pharmacists can now give flu shots to children ages five to eight and to those in personal care homes and assisted living apartments. This came into effect on Oct. 22.

As of Nov. 1, a number of other initiatives are coming into place.

One is expanding the ministry’s Minor Ailment Program, which allows pharmacists to prescribe treatments for minor conditions.

Ten are being added to the list: uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women, hormonal contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, pink eye, shingles, fungal nail infection, influenza, obesity, erectile dysfunction and smoking cessation.

They’re also establishing a new Injection Administration Fee Program to compensate pharmacists for providing injections of long acting birth control medication, as well as a 20-cent increase in the prescription dispensing fee to $11.60.

PAS Chair Paul Bazin commented on the agreement in a news release.

“The range of services offered by Saskatchewan’s pharmacists has been steadily expanding, and we want to continue to make advances to support patients and healthcare in our province,” he said.

Across Saskatchewan, there’s 385 licensed community pharmacies and about 1700 practicing pharmacists.