In Saskatchewan, over 1700 pharmacists work in community pharmacies, hospitals, out-patient ambulatory settings, and primary health care teams. Pharmacists also teach in universities, consulting, working for the government, pharmaceutical companies and regulatory or advocacy associations.
Pharmacists are key members of the healthcare team who consult with patients, physicians, nurse practitioners or other health providers on the care of their patients.
Today's pharmacist has specialized training and education which they use to ensure optimal health outcomes for you. Pharmacists can hold specialties in such areas as HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Asthma and Mental Health.
As specialists in the science and clinical use of over 20,000 medications, they understand the composition, chemical structures and physical properties of medications and how they work inside the human body. Pharmacists must keep up-to-date on the hundreds of new medications marketed every year, as well as the new information about previously developed medications.
A pharmacists role is expanding and they are an important part of the healthcare system.
Pressures Reduced in the Health System
The video below, prepared by the Canadian Pharmacists Association, gives a short overview of the impact of pharmacists in the system.
When pharmacists practice to their full scope, they decrease pressure on other health professionals, emergency rooms, clinics, and primary health care networks. Studies on Hypertension and UTI (bladder infection) care have shown this and the effectiveness of a pharmacists care for these ailments.
Pharmacists provide immediate and accessible health care to patients and are often the only provider in rural and remote communities. The care they provide in these communities is essential to the residents they serve.
An Expanded Scope of Practice
The scope of practice of pharmacists in Saskatchewan is expanding as the provincial government authorizes increases in the number of health care services that pharmacist provide.
- Medication assessments. Patients who are eligible Drug Plan Extended Benefits Branch beneficiaries may receive an annual medication assessment from their pharmacist.
- Compliance packaging. Patients who are eligible Drug Plan Extended Benefits Branch beneficiaries may receive compliance packaging from their pharmacists.
- Saskatchewan Medication Assessment Program (SMAP). This is a provincial program where patients can receive an annual medication assessment by their pharmacist. The criteria for this program is available here.
- Medication reconciliation. A pharmacist ensures that you leave the facility with the proper medications needed for your medical condition(s).
Medication Therapy Managers
As an essential part of your health care team Saskatchewan pharmacists can:
- assess and select appropriate prescription and non-prescription medication
- manage your long term medication usage
- monitor and review your medication record or patient profile
- ensure medication dosage accuracy specific to you
- detect any possible drug interactions
- check for possible side effects
- screen for allergies to the prescribed medicines
- check for duplication of therapy
- determine whether the drugs prescribed will interfere with any medical condition you may have
- educate you on all aspects of your medication including how to take your medication, side effects, and proper storage instructions
- answer all questions related to medication usage, disease management, and health promotion
- provide individual consultation on difficult, private, personal or family health care issues
- give you advice on ways to reduce your symptoms without drugs
- keep a comprehensive and up-to-date computer record of your medications
Prescription for Minor Ailments
- Mild acne
- Hay fever, seasonal allergies
- Cold sores
- Diaper rash
- Insect bites
- Cancer sores
- Oral thrush
- Painful periods
- Acid reflux
- Muscle strain and sprains
- Athletes foot, ringworm, groin itch
- Emergency contraception (morning after pill)
- Birth control
- Bladder infections (UTIs)
- Eye infection
- Influenza (pandemic or epidemic situations)
- Nail fungus
As an increasingly essential part of your health care team, Saskatchewan pharmacists provide:
- Chronic disease management such as Diabetes, Asthma, and Hypertension.
- Counseling and prescribing for those who want to Quit Smoking.
- Addiction management. As pharmacists, it's important to help patients with all health concerns including their addictions (drugs, alcohol). Pharmacist, in consultation with your other health providers, will, monitor dosage, interactions, duplication of therapy, provide private consultation on your concerns and any other possible effects which may impact addiction management.
- In-home consultations