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New Public Coverage for Pharmacy Services
Monday, May 15, 2023

The NBPA is pleased to confirm that seven Minor Ailments are being added to the list of publicly-funded pharmacy services:   

The assessment and prescribing for these ailments by a pharmacist may be eligible for coverage by the Department of Health effective May 15, 2023. Patients will still be responsible for the cost of prescribed medications for these ailments, as well as any fees for injections provided by pharmacy professionals.

"The New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association has been advocating for years to expand coverage for New Brunswickers to access health care in their community pharmacies,” said Andrew Drover, president of the New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association. “Today’s announcement means thousands of patients will be diverted from emergency departments, doctors’ offices and clinics. Expanding the role of pharmacies is a prescription for relief in our health-care system.”
– Government of New Brunswick, Pharmacists can assess and prescribe for more illnesses and conditions

"New Brunswick Pharmacists Association president Andrew Drover said these changes have been a long time coming. 'New Brunswick pharmacists have given well over 500,000 COVID vaccinations in the last few years, so we’re used to hard work and we’re used to contributing to the health-care system,' Drover said. He said pharmacists have been able to consult patients on the newly-added minor ailments since 2014, but until Monday, they weren’t paid to do so by the province. This meant the cost was sometimes passed down to the patient. New Brunswick pharmacists can assess and prescribe for 34 minor ailments, but Medicare only pays the pharmacists for consultation for 11 of those ailments, including the seven announced on Monday."
– Global News, N.B. health minister hopes added pharmacist responsibilities will free up appointments

"Jonathan Walsh, pharmacist and independent owner of Riverview Guardian Pharmacy, also welcomed the announcement, saying it will help patients get the care they need sooner and closer to home. 'This decision will reduce demand on hospitals, emergency departments, walk-in clinics, and family physicians,' he said in a statement. 'It also frees up time for our health-care partners, allowing doctors, nurses, and other health-care providers to focus on more complex care cases.'"
– CBC News, N.B. Medicare now pays for pharmacists to assess, prescribe for 7 more ailments

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