Providing Seniors With More Access To Free Pharmacy Services
McGuinty Government Working With Pharmacists To Improve Patient Care
Seniors and Ontario Drug Benefit recipients now have more access to free consultations with their local pharmacist - ensuring they are using medications safely and effectively.
Working with prescribers such as doctors and nurse practitioners, pharmacists will enhance patient care by delivering more services when a prescription is filled. This includes:
- Providing advice to prevent adverse drug or allergic reactions from medications
- Making recommendations to improve patient health outcomes - such as changing dosage levels or reminding patients about when and how to take their medications.
In August, pharmacists will also offer patients free appointment-based services, including:
- An in-depth assessment on how to better-manage a chronic disease like diabetes or asthma
- Training on how to effectively use devices like blood pressure monitors and asthma peak flow meters at home
- Supports to quit smoking.
These new services build on the current MedsCheck program, which provides eligible Ontarians a yearly appointment with a pharmacist to review medications, better understand their medication, and ensure safe use of prescription drugs. MedsCheck also offers one-on-one consultations to Ontarians with diabetes, long-term care home residents, and people who have difficultly travelling to a pharmacy.
Today's announcement is part of the government's Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.
- Since 2006, Ontario's drug reforms have resulted in $1 billion in savings, which have been reinvested into the healthcare system to provide more services to Ontarians.
- Through Ontario's drug reforms, the prices of generic drugs have been reduced by half.
- Since 2006, 176 new drugs have added to the public drug formulary, including 35 cancer products for 49 indications.
- More than 800,000 MedsCheck appointments have benefited Ontarians since the program launched in 2007.
- Last September, the MedsCheck program was expanded to include people living with diabetes, long-term care home residents, and home-bound people who have difficulty getting to a pharmacy.
“Expanding pharmacy services is part of our commitment to provide better access to health care for all Ontarians. As valuable members of Ontario's health care team, pharmacists will now provide free consultations, closer to home. These new services will help patients - especially our moms and dads - safely and effectively manage their medications and achieve better health outcomes.”
“We're very pleased that the Ontario government has introduced changes that recognize some of the valuable services pharmacists provide on behalf of their patients. Along with the MedsCheck program, these services promote healthier outcomes by helping to ensure patients are on the right medication, at the right dose, at the right time.”
“Being at the front line of health care, these new services enhance our scope of practice and allow us to optimize health outcomes for our patients. Not only do the new services provide more opportunities for direct patient care, they also emphasize the importance of collaboration between all health care providers.”