UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Perceptions of Independent Pharmacist Prescribing among Health Authority- and Community-Based Pharmacists in Northern British Columbia Lewis, Jordan; Barry, Arden R.; Bellefeuille, Katie; Pammett, Robert T.; Barry, Arden; Bellefeuille, Katie; Pammett, Robert


Pharmacists across Canada have varying degrees of ability to prescribe medications depending on their jurisdiction of licensure. The purpose of this study was to the evaluate attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of independent pharmacist prescribing among health authority- and community-based pharmacists. This prospective, cross-sectional online survey assessed the perceptions of independent pharmacist prescribing of health authority and community pharmacists practising in northern British Columbia (BC), which was defined as within the geographical boundaries of Northern Health. Responses were analysed using descriptive statistics and a regression analysis. There were 45 respondents to the survey: 22 community pharmacists and 23 health authority pharmacists. Both community and health authority pharmacists held positive perceptions of independent pharmacist prescribing and did not identify any barriers to incorporating independent pharmacist prescribing into their practice. Respondents were highly likely to apply for independent pharmacist prescribing authority, if available. Pharmacists in BC are currently not able to independently prescribe schedule I medications. The provincial regulatory body has proposed a framework for a Certified Pharmacist Prescriber designation, which if approved would allow pharmacists to prescribe in collaborative practice settings. This study provides some insight into the perception of pharmacists in northern BC in pursuing this designation, which may be valuable for planning purposes in case of adoption of the framework. These results are also likely applicable to other non-urban practice settings in Canada. Pharmacists in northern BC perceived independent pharmacist prescribing positively and a high proportion were likely to apply for this authority if it were permitted via legislation.

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