Policy Analysis of Scope of Practice Changes for Pharmacists and Optometrists and Regulation of Pharmacy Technicians
This Fireside Chat will provide an overview and discussion of the Research Project:
"Policy Analysis of Scope of Practice Changes for Pharmacists and Optometrists and Regulation of Pharmacy Technicians" Authors: Rishma Walji, BSc, ND, PhD1, Michael Beazely, BSP, PhD2 and C. Lisa Prokopich, OD, MSc2 1 McMaster University, 2 University of Waterloo
Introduction: As per Bill 171 and Bill 179, the scope of practice regarding prescribing has changed for Ontario optometrists and is expected to change for pharmacists.
The pharmacy technician profession has also been regulated.
Objective: The purpose of this policy analysis was to identify activities, strategies, and collaborations taking place pertaining to existing and anticipated legislative changes for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and optometrists.
Methods: A mixed methods case study approach was utilized and various activities were conducted to collect data to inform this policy analysis. The project involved a document review, qualitative key informant interviews and focus groups and a quantitative professional member survey.
Results: Pharmacists agree that the proposed expanded scope will be beneficial to the health care system, however, they do note barriers to realizing the expanded scope in practice, including lack of time in the community pharmacy model. Pharmacy technicians agree that collaboration with pharmacists will be vital to the success of the profession and their key concerns include: remuneration, time and cost investment to get regulated, employment security particularly in community. Optometrists have been preparing for an extended scope of practice many years through educational initiatives. Main concerns for the profession regarding an extended scope of practice include: interprofessional collaboration, regulation of drug lists rather than drug categories, and inefficient billing codes.
Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and optometrists are all experiencing changes in the practice for their profession. All three professions have unique concerns regarding the changes to their profession but all professions seem to see the changes as overall positive to the health care system and patient care.
Advisor on Tap:
Rishma Walji, BSc, ND, PhD,
Post doctoral fellow, McMaster University.