The Future of Pharmacist Prescribing in BC
The College is in the final stages of developing a Framework for Pharmacist Prescribing in BC. The Framework is focused on preventing patient harm by reducing preventable drug-related problems and providing safer transitions in care through increased involvement of pharmacists, as medication experts in the delivery of patient-centred collaborative care. Improving medication management and reducing preventable drug-related hospitalizations protects public safety and will improve patient outcomes.
Development of a proposal for pharmacist prescribing stretches back to 2010 when the College Board first decided to move forward with a feasibility study. An initial draft framework was developed in 2015 and used to help facilitate stakeholder engagement in 2016.
The College held over 16 different workshops, discussions and meetings and heard from over 25 different stakeholder groups. The College also received over 11,400 comments through its online survey.
The greatest convergence across stakeholder groups surrounded the opportunity pharmacist prescribing could have in providing greater access to care, especially for minor ailments, emergency situations, continuity of care and for patients without a primary care provider. Feedback from pharmacists and other prescribers also highlighted that pharmacist prescribing might work best in interdisciplinary team-based settings where access to more patient information and lab test results, and having a physician or nurse practitioner available to provide a diagnosis, provided respondents with greater confidence in pharmacist prescribing.
Based on this feedback, the College Board made the decision to amend the initial draft framework by narrowing the scope of pharmacist prescribing to within collaborative practice.
Why Collaborative Practice?
Pharmacist prescribing is proposed to take place through interdisciplinary team-based care settings where physicians and nurse practitioners would continue to be responsible for the diagnosis, and access to health records and diagnostics, including lab tests, would be facilitated. Certified Pharmacist Prescribers would also be restricted from dispensing medications they prescribed for a patient
Recent studies show pharmacist prescribing in collaborative practice to be significantly effective at preventing harm and improving patient outcomes by, among other things:
- Reducing risk factors for chronic disease
- Improving blood glucose
- Improving blood pressure
- Improving lipid levels and;
- Reducing risk for major cardiovascular events
The framework focuses closely on the benefit to patient care, identifying specific opportunities to prevent patient harm and improve patient outcomes. While the College does not advocate for changes to scope of pharmacy practice that are in the best interests of patients by increasing public safety and improving patient outcomes. Like the expansion of the pharmacists’ role in drug admin, the College is proposing regulation of Certified Pharmacist Prescribers to help pharmacists better care for their patients and protect them from preventable drug related problems.
Pharmacist prescribing in British Columbia is needed to:
- Improve patient outcomes
- Prevent drug-related problems
- Reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations
- Improve timely access to drug therapy
- Improve continuity of care
We’re currently conducting our second online engagement for pharmacist prescribing in BC, in order to seek input from patients, registered pharmacy professionals and other health professionals. The format of this engagement is an open and comprehensive online survey.
To get started visit: surveymonkey.com/r/Pharmacist_Prescribing.
Survey closes October 8, 2017
The feedback will be used to finalize the Framework, after which it will be summarized in an engagement report which will be shared with the Board to aid in future decision making. This report will also be published on our website.
Please share this engagement opportunities with colleagues, patients and members of the public interested in being a part of the conversation on the future of pharmacist prescribing in BC.
Sharing is Easy
The Framework for Pharmacist Prescribing Promotion Package includes a more in-depth explanation of the Framework as well as other relevant background information and suggested content to share.
For a more comprehensive look at the proposed plan for pharmacist prescribing in BC, visit bcpharmacists.org/Prescribing