FREDERICTON (GNB) – Pharmacists at six locations across the province will soon have expanded authority to assess and prescribe for some chronic conditions as well as for Group A strep (strep throat) as part of a 12-month pilot project announced today.
The Pharmacist Care Clinic will open at two locations on Aug. 1 and at four additional locations by Sept. 18.
“Improving access to primary health care is a key part of the provincial health plan. This pilot project will allow us to explore a new way to provide care for New Brunswickers,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “This initiative is a step forward in helping patients access the care they need in a timely manner.”
The project is a collaboration between the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists and the Department of Health.
“The New Brunswick College of Pharmacists acts in the public interest and aims to align pharmacy practice with patient needs,” said college registrar Anastasia Shiamptanis. “In partnership with the Department of Health, we have developed a pilot project that enables pharmacists to provide additional care in a manner that supports a workflow that differs from routine day-to-day operations.”
“Additionally, the pilot project approach allows us to evaluate the model and obtain feedback from patients and pharmacy professionals with an aim to better incorporate pharmacy professionals into New Brunswick’s primary care system,” said Shiamptanis.
This initiative will allow the participating pharmacists to offer point of care testing and prescribing for Group A Strep, and chronic disease management for:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- cardio-vascular disease
“Pharmacists are trained, highly qualified health-care professionals, ready to deliver more accessible primary health care in community pharmacies,” said Anne Marie Picone, interim executive-director of the New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association. “Today’s announcement means thousands of New Brunswickers will now be able to access chronic disease management at the six community pharmacies leading the way in this pilot. We know these Pharmacist Care Clinics will demonstrate the potential for pharmacy to be a much bigger part of the solution to our health-care crisis.”
Eligible patients will not have to pay to book an appointment at one of the six sites. Participating pharmacies will cover the cost of assessing and prescribing medication for the duration of the pilot project. However, patients will still be responsible for the cost of prescribed medications.
“Expanded scope of practice in New Brunswick has allowed us to reimagine the role pharmacists can play in the delivery of public health care across the province,” said Jeff Leger, president of Shoppers Drug Mart. “We thank the New Brunswick Department of Health, the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists’ and the pharmacy association for including us in the Pharmacist Care Clinic pilot, giving us the platform to demonstrate our ability to provide quality care for those in need.”
At the conclusion of the project, the Department of Health will evaluate its impact and effectiveness through a study conducted by the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training.
“Our evaluation of the pilot project will help to ensure that policy decisions are based upon sound evidence of its benefits for New Brunswickers,” said Chris Folkins, research scientist with the institute.
The project will launch Aug. 1 at the following pharmacies:
- Shoppers Drug Mart, 1040 Prospect St., Fredericton, 506-451-1567
- Jean Coutu Riverview, 438 Coverdale Rd., Riverview, 506-853-0825
The following locations will open by Sept. 18:
- Lawtons Drugs, 435 Brookside Dr., Fredericton, 506-450-4161
- Marie-Claude Cyr Inc. Familiprix, 1351 Des Fondateurs St., Paquetville, 506-764-3553
- The Medicine Shoppe, 1685 Main St., Moncton, 506-854-2010
- Hampton Pharmasave, 599 Main St., Hampton, 506-832-5564
These services will be offered by appointment only as availability will be limited.
More information about accessing health care is available online.