This document is written for practising pharmacists to bring them up to speed on the province-wide primary health care strategy being developed and implemented in BC by a large group of health stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and regional Health Authorities.

This strategy includes new roles for some pharmacists and will enhance the ability of all BC pharmacists to contribute their knowledge and skills for the benefit of British Columbians.

Primary care, the foundation of Canada’s health care system, is facing unprecedented pressure as the health care needs of Canadians increase.

For the past 20 years, pharmacy in BC and across Canada has been in a state of change to align pharmacist roles and scope with the growing needs of patients and society. Pharmacists today have the training, skills and abilities to meet these needs through the provision of Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM), which includes:1) patient assessment; 2) identification and prioritization of drug therapy problems (DTPs); 3) collaborative care plans; and 4) follow up to resolve DTPs and optimize drug therapy outcomes for patients.

Pharmacists face a number of challenges in these rapidly changing times, regardless of where they practice. With challenges also come opportunities, and individual pharmacists can position themselves for future success by focusing on three key areas:

1. maintaining a collaborative mind-set;
2. understanding what patients want and need; and
3. practicing to their fullest possible scope to meet patient needs in their current practice.

Practical strategies for these three key areas are presented in this paper.

After reading this foundational and practical document, pharmacists will be able to review their practice, identify ways they can rethink their roles and contribute more to patient care.

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For more information, contact Peter Zed, Professor and Associate Dean, Practice Innovation or Barbara Gobis, Director, Pharmacists Clinic.

Click here to read the media release published on March 2, 2020.

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