$137,000 FOR PHARMACIST SCOPE OF PRACTICE EXPANSION AT UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN

The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to announce it will provide $137,000 to the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Pharmacy and Nutrition for a new Advanced Pharmacy Prescribing Training program.​

This training program will enable licensed, practicing pharmacists to become authorized to prescribe and manage medication for a variety of chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obesity, heart failure and hypertension.​

“Pharmacists are valued members of our communities who are reliable and trusted sources of health care services,” Advanced Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “Our government is very pleased to invest in this program at the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition in an effort to further increase primary care capacity and ease health care system pressures in the province.”​

Pharmacist initiated prescribing for chronic conditions is a new scope of practice that currently does not exist in Saskatchewan. Creating this new program will put Saskatchewan in closer alignment with provinces that have pharmacist advanced prescribing authority, such as Alberta and Nova Scotia.

“This new program will give pharmacists the tools to provide patients with access to more health care options,” Health Minister Everett Hindley said. “Pharmacists are highly-trained professionals. Enhancing and expanding their scope of practice supports our Health Human Resources Action Plan by ensuring they are empowered to use all their knowledge to serve Saskatchewan patients.”

The program will help strengthen collaboration between pharmacists and other health care professionals, providing better quality of care to Saskatchewan patients. Program development is currently underway with the University of Saskatchewan planning to pilot the program in the 2024-25 academic year.​

“Pharmacists who complete the training and demonstrate proficiency in independent prescribing will add a novel healthcare touchpoint for people diagnosed with select chronic conditions,” University of Saskatchewan Continuing Pharmacy Education Unit Associate Director Danielle Larocque said. “This training will enhance the pharmacists’ current skillset in medication management and collaborative care. The training will be a combination of part-time coursework, hands-on training, and practicum experience. The first cohort is expected to start in January 2025, and be ready to independently prescribe for select chronic conditions by spring 2025.”​

Pharmacy services are a priority for the province. Saskatchewan students can pursue pharmacy-related post-secondary education in the province. The University of Saskatchewan currently offers 90 pharmacy training seats and Saskatchewan Polytechnic recently expanded its pharmacy technician program to 48 seats.

“SCPP is pleased to see the funding support for the inaugural Advanced Pharmacist Prescribing Course for pharmacists in Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals Registrar Jeana Wendel said. “As the first of its kind in Canada, this program will equip pharmacists with essential skills to ensure quality and safe care for the people of Saskatchewan. It will be a prerequisite for any pharmacist in Saskatchewan seeking authorization for independent prescribing of medications to manage select approved chronic conditions as per our regulatory bylaws.”

For additional information regarding the Advanced Prescribing Training program, please contact the University of Saskatchewan.