2022 saw breakthroughs on the issues that matter to pharmacy professionals and their patients, including:
- Medicare coverage of pharmacist fees for birth control, shingles, and UTIs;
- legislative amendments to establish a Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Sharps Extended Producer Responsibility Program for New Brunswick;
- authorization to prescribe Paxlovid;
- and the adoption of a new strategic plan for NBPA;
...not to mention the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, resurgent viruses, and widespread drug shortages. There is also a shortage of frontline health-care workers, and NBPA worked with CPhA to develop a workforce survey to measure the impacts. The data will enable needs and resource planning for pharmacy, and help ensure you have the support you need to thrive in your profession today and in the years to come.
New Brunswick's Speech from the Throne detailed the provincial government’s priorities, which included delivering "dependable public health care."
The speech referenced the scope of practice for allied health professionals, saying that to “evolve the model of team-based clinics, you must also empower professionals to work at a broader scope of practice and connect them across the system with new ways to deliver services faster to New Brunswickers.” The NBPA continues advocating strongly for coverage across the full scope of practice. In meetings with political leaders, we stressed that pharmacists are already professionally-trained and qualified to treat and prescribe for dozens of minor ailments. The provincial government must remove the barrier to accessing these pharmacy services by providing coverage, diverting thousands of patients from our crowded emergency rooms and walk-in clinics.
Advocating for coverage of the full scope of practice will continue to be a primary focus of the NBPA’s advocacy efforts. Our three-year strategic plan is meant to deliver on our renewed mission to support sustainable pharmacy practices by advocating for members’ professional interests and by providing superior education and benefits.
Looking forward to 2023, we will as ever work to achieve our vision of uniting the voice of pharmacy in New Brunswick, enhancing the profession through meaningful member services and benefits, and promoting recognition of the value of pharmacy services.