Pharmacy services and prescription drugs

Pharmacy services

Albertans now have more choice in where they can access some health services: from either their family physician or their local pharmacist. This change gives you more convenience, more timely access to medications, and a more efficient use of a valuable health care resource.

Albertans with valid Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan coverage may be eligible for the following services, at no charge:

  1. care plan assessment – known either as a "comprehensive annual care plan" or a "standard medication management assessment,"
  2. assessment for the administration of injections,
  3. assessment for adapting or modifying prescriptions based upon individual patient needs,
  4. assessment for prescription renewals,
  5. assessment of prescriptions for emergency for a resident,
  6. assessment for ensuring continuity of care in the event of a declaration of a state of emergency,
  7. assessment for initiating or managing medication therapy,
  8. assessments to ensure safe and appropriate use, such as refusal to fill a prescription or a trial prescription,
  9. standard medication management assessment for tobacco cessation services,
  10. standard medication management assessment for diabetes, and
  11. assessment for the administration of publicly funded vaccines, such as influenza.

Important:

  • These pharmacy services do not replace the need for Albertans to see other health care providers, such as their family doctor.
  • Albertans are encouraged to speak with their pharmacist about these pharmacy services.

Pharmacists already have the education and training required to perform these services, and the Alberta government continues to fund pharmacies to provide these services. This will encourage pharmacists to provide more services to Albertans and make it easier for Albertans to access primary health care.

Comprehensive annual care plan

A comprehensive annual care plan is a record prepared with a clinical pharmacist thatoutlines and documents a patient’s health goals. The plan may include information regarding the patient’s:

  • current and previous medications and health condition,
  • symptoms or signs to be treated,
  • treatment history from other health care professionals,
  • use of other health care products, aids, devices, and/or
  • future health and treatment options.

To be eligible for a comprehensive annual care plan, patients must have at least 2 chronic health conditions or 1 chronic health condition and other risk factors. Pharmacists may also follow-up with patients who receive a care plan up to 12 times annually.

Standard medication management assessment

A standard medication management assessment is meant for those patients who do not meet the criteria for a comprehensive annual care plan but have at least 1 chronic health condition and are taking 3 or more medications.

Patients who have diabetes and are taking at least 1 medication or insulin, and/or patients who are actively using tobacco products and looking to access tobacco cessation services are also eligible.

A standard medication management assessment will also:

  • set health goals,
  • monitor and manage medications, and
  • help patients better manage their medical conditions.

Pharmacists may also follow-up with patients who receive a standard medication management assessment 4–12 times annually, depending on the type of assessment.

Drug program rules

Alberta Health has implemented a number of drug program rules that maximize the appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of drug therapy.