Renewing prescriptions shouldn’t require doctor

Medicare costs are expensive and going higher. One way of reducing some of these costs, would be to have pharmacists able to refill a long term prescription.

Medicare costs are expensive and going higher.

One way of reducing some of these costs, would be to have pharmacists able to refill a long term prescription.

Why are we (taxpayers) paying approximately $30 to have a doctor refill a prescription we have been taking for multiple years?

Some clinics will charge you $10 to phone a pharmacy to refill a prescription. That seems to be a better alternative than sitting in a clinic waiting room for up to two hours for the doctor to come in and fill a longtime prescription without asking any questions other than what can I do for you.

A pharmacist will probably ask you more questions than a clinic doctor or a doctor who phoned in a refill for you.

It makes no sense to me why Alberta Health Care and Health Canada would continue paying this when a doctor’s time could be better spent with a patient with more urgent needs.

I’m only talking about long-term repeat prescriptions and I’m quite sure reputable pharmacists would question the need to refill a high-power, high-risk drug without that person seeing their doctor first.

There are some doctors who recognize this waste of their time and cost to the public and prescribe five or 10 refills on people who have been using a certain drug for multiple years.

I understand this can’t work on all prescriptions but really, isn’t it worth looking at?

This letter has been sent to MP Earl Dreeshen, PM Stephan Harper, Health Canada, Alberta Health, MLA Cal Dallas and Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne.

Leo Leonard

Red Deer

Editor’s note: Albertans will be able to get their prescriptions renewed at a pharmacy without having to go see a doctor first starting on July 1. Health Minister Fred Horne said the changes will free up time for physicians to handle more complex cases. Pharmacists will earn $20 each time they renew a prescription starting July 1 as the government brings in a new compensation model that aims to save people money and improve access to care. The province will pay pharmacists $20 for each prescription renewal; doctors currently receive $35 for each renewal.