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Saskatchewan Pharmacists and the Expansion of Travel Health Services

Saskatchewan Pharmacists and the Expansion of Travel Health Services

The Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals (SCPP) has added bylaws allowing SK pharmacists to prescribe drugs and vaccines for international travel. The policy refers to prophylactic and pre-emptive treatment for disease prevention. The bylaws were enforced as of April 5th, 2019, but it is only as of this week (November 18th, 2019), that pharmacists have prescribing authority. Pharmacists in Saskatchewan can now prescribe under the “Minor Ailments and Self-care” prescriptive authority category.

The World Health Organization recommends travellers to see a health care professional at least 4 weeks before travelling, but even a consult the same day as departure can be helpful. Pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare providers who are already qualified to do injections and have extensive knowledge of vaccines and immunizations.

Why are having travel health trained pharmacists and travel health pharmacies a good thing?

Proper disease coverage before travelling outside of the country is important and pharmacists can help with disease prevention and increasing immunization rates. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends routine vaccination of children, adolescents and adults against seventeen vaccine-preventable diseases. They also recommend this service be available during more convenient times such as lunch hours, after work hours, weekends etc. This makes pharmacies an ideal option to ensure more people are immunized before travelling!

Consult your pharmacist about travel health to:

  • Review your immunization history
  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date
  • Discuss any travel-related concerns you may have
  • Look into any vaccinations you may need to get before your trip

Who should get travel vaccines?

All travellers should make sure they are up to date on their routine vaccinations before their trip. Let your pharmacist know where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are travelling internationally.

Those who are travelling with children, have a chronic disease, are going abroad, staying for an extended amount of time, are pregnant, immune-compromised, or going for disaster relief/ mission trips should take extra precautions.

With this expansion of services for pharmacists in Saskatchewan, the goal is more patients will seek travel advice and reduce their risk of travel-related diseases.

Travel safe, and plan ahead!

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