Pharmacy services and prescription drugs

Pharmacy services

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. Administration of injections,
  3. Assessment and modifying prescriptions based upon individual patient needs, 
  4. Prescription renewals,
  5. Assessment of prescriptions for emergency needs,
  6. Assessment for initiating medication therapy,
  7. Medication assessments to ensure safe and appropriate use, such as refusal to fill a prescription or a trial prescription,
  8. Tobacco cessation services,
  9. Standard Medication Management Assessment for diabetics, and
  10. Administration of publicly funded vaccines, such as seasonal 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.
  • Read the questions and answers below.

Comprehensive annual care plan

A Comprehensive Annual Care Plan is a single document that outlines a patient’s health goals. Prepared in collaboration with the pharmacist, the Comprehensive Annual Care Plan may include information regarding the patient’s:

  • Current medications and health condition 
  • Previous medical and medication use  
  • Other health care professional care, and/or  
  • Future health and treatment options

To be eligible for a Comprehensive Annual Care Plan, patients must have at least two chronic health conditions or one chronic health condition and other risk factors.

Standard medication management assessment

A Standard Medication Management Assessment is similar to the Comprehensive Annual Care Plan. It, too, will:

  • Set health goals 
  • Monitor and manage medications, and 
  • Help patients better manage their medical conditions

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 one chronic health condition and are taking three or more medications. Patients with diabetes taking at least one medication or insulin are also eligible for a Standard Medication Management Assessment

Drug program rules

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

Remote Pharmacy Access Grant

On February 13, 2012, the Minister of Health announced the Remote Pharmacy Access Grant to provide Albertans with continued access to pharmacy services in remote areas. Administrated by the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA), the Government of Alberta has committed $15.9 million over 3 years to Alberta’s remote pharmacies to help ensure they remain open to the Albertans who need them.

Questions about compensation for pharmacy services

Prescription renewal

How are these new services offered by pharmacists different from what they do now?

While most pharmacists already have the education and training to perform these services, government will now pay them to provide the services. This will encourage pharmacists to provide more services to Albertans, and make it easier for Albertans to access primary health care.

What does this mean for Albertans?

You now have more choices for where you get your health services: you can still use your family physician or you can go to your local pharmacist to have these services performed. Overall this change will mean more convenience for you, more timely access to medications and a more efficient use of a valuable health care resource.