October 29, 2018

Province and Pharmacists Reach One-Year Agreement

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

“Pharmacists play an important role in providing better access to appropriate patient care and improving the patient experience,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.  “This agreement recognizes that we value pharmacists’ significant contributions to the Saskatchewan health system.”

As of October 22, pharmacists are being funded to give flu shots to children ages five to eight as well as to people living in settings such as personal care homes and assisted living apartments.  Previously under the province’s publicly- funded influenza vaccination program, pharmacists gave flu shots to people aged nine and older at pharmacies only.

In recent years, the Ministry of Health has supported a number of significant initiatives and programs, including additional pharmacist-prescribing services, to help pharmacists work toward their full scope of practice and to provide important medication management services for Saskatchewan residents.

Other highlights of the new agreement that take effect November 1, include:

  • Expanding the ministry’s Minor Ailment Program to include pharmacist prescribing for 10 new minor ailments and self-care conditions.  These include uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women, hormonal contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, conjunctivitis (pink eye), shingles, onychomycosis (fungal nail infection), influenza, obesity, erectile dysfunction, and smoking cessation.  With this agreement, pharmacists will now be compensated for prescribing for a total of 25 minor ailments and self-care conditions.
  • Establishing a new Injection Administration Fee Program that will compensate pharmacists for providing injections of a long-acting birth control medication.
  • A 20-cent increase in the prescription dispensing fee to $11.60.

“The agreement will help community pharmacies maintain outstanding service for patients, while absorbing increased operating expenses,” PAS Chair Paul Bazin said.  “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 health care in our province.”

There are approximately 1,700 practising pharmacists and 385 licensed community pharmacies in Saskatchewan.