Effects of Prescription Adaptation and Renewal by Pharmacists

Project number: 
Approval date: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Principal Investigator: 
University of British Columbia (UBC)
Funding Agency: 
Not Available
Datasets requested: 
consolidation - census geocodes
Medical Services Plan (BC Ministry of Health)
Consolidation registry (Ministry of Health)
Hospital Separations (BC Ministry of Health)
ACG Case Mix Group (Johns Hopkins University)
Deaths (BC Vital Statistics Agency)
Research objective: 

In January 2009, a policy change in British Columbia gave pharmacists the authority to independently modify and renew prescriptions. The policy is intended to improve patient access to drugs and reduce already heavy burden on primary care physicians. However, physicians and others have raised concerns about potential negative effects on patient safety due to inappropriate medication modifications and reduced continuity of care. While several other provinces have either implemented or proposed similar policies, there have been conspicuously few rigorous evaluations of these changes. We will use the health research datasets in BC to study the effects of this policy change on drug utilization and costs, patient adherence to medication, the number of visits to physicians and hospitalization. Our study will benefit Canadians by informing the future design and refinement of these important and controversial policies.


Journal Publication

  • Law, MR, Cheng, L, Kratzer, J, Morgan, SG, Marra, C, Lynd, LD, and Majumdar, SR. 2015. Impact of allowing pharmacists to independently renew prescriptions: a population-based study. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. 55(4): 398-404

Conference abstract/presentation

  • Law M R The Impact of Allowing Pharmacists to Independently Renew Prescription Drugs. CAHSPR Conference May 28, 2013

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