Participating pharmacists in the Yukon can now assess and prescribe medications for common, minor ailments. They can also provide injections for travel-related diseases and prescribe medication for smoking cessation.
These expanded services will make better use of pharmacists’ clinical expertise and training, and align with the services provided by pharmacists in many other Canadian jurisdictions. This will help decrease pressures on emergency rooms, doctors’ offices and the entire health care system in the territory.
The Government of Yukon temporarily expanded pharmacists’ scope of practice in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar measures were reintroduced in February 2022. These measures are now permanent.
Patients will need to confirm with their individual pharmacist what services they provide, as well as what fees are not covered by insurance plans, as training and credentials for pharmacists can vary.
Pharmacists are an important part of the Yukon’s health care system, providing Yukoners with safe access to medication. Positive feedback from patients and pharmacists on the temporary services that pharmacists were permitted to dispense during the height of the pandemic has encouraged us to move forward with this second phase of the implementation of the Pharmacists Regulation introduced in 2019. The territory’s pharmacists can now provide Yukoners with services on par with their counterparts elsewhere in the country. Thank you to all of the Yukon’s dedicated pharmacists and everyone who provided feedback on this expansion of services.
Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn
These new regulations will increase access to some medications and vaccines for Yukoners, while helping our pharmacists broaden their practices. Our government appreciates the work pharmacists do to support the health and well-being of all Yukoners and we look forward to the greater convenience in our health care system that these changes will make. We continue to transform our healthcare system into a more holistic, collaborative and preventive model that puts people at the centre.
Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee
The changes to the Pharmacist Regulations allow Yukon pharmacists to use more of their skills and training to help reduce the burden on the ER and physicians’ offices. These changes mean that the services that Yukon pharmacists can now offer, are among the most extensive in Canada. Yukon pharmacists are proud to be able to offer yet more health services to Yukoners and appreciate all the work that has gone into making this change in practice happen.
Yukon Pharmacists Association President Joanne Gibson
Participating pharmacists are limited in what they can prescribe. This additional service is not intended to replace physician care. A pharmacist may determine the most appropriate response to a patient’s request for a prescription is to refer them for treatment at the emergency room or clinic in their community.
Similar programs launched in other Canadian jurisdictions have proved to be both safe and effective.
The Yukon’s Pharmacists Regulation and standards of practice, as well as the Health Professions Act and federal regulations such as the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, dictate how pharmacists in the territory practice.