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practice environments iconPRACTICE ENVIRONMENTS

The Pharmacist’s Role

Pharmacists are the drug therapy experts of the health care team. Their role in the healthcare system has changed significantly over the past few years, particularly with the expansion of their scope of practice which allows the pharmacist to focus on the clinical aspects of direct patient care.

While pharmacists are still responsible for managing the overall pharmacy environment and overseeing dispensing, they now focus more on reviewing prescriptions for therapeutic appropriateness, performing medication reconciliation and medication reviews, developing care plans and monitoring patients. The care plan is often focused on taking steps to resolve or prevent drug-related or health-related problems. Depending on the province or territory, the pharmacist may accomplish this by performing expanded scope activities such as adaptation of prescriptions, prescribing for minor ailments, ordering and/or interpreting laboratory tests and administering drugs, including injections for immunization or other purposes.

Although the scope of practice can be slightly different in each province and territory, pharmacists must always assume responsibility for their own actions, be accountable to the public and manage the overall functioning of the pharmacy to ensure a safe and healthy environment.