Since being granted the ability to add Additional Prescribing Authorization (APA) to their practice in 2007, the number of registrants in the province that have successfully applied for and received APA has grown exponentially. As of July 4, 2018, 2450 currently hold the designation, nearly half of all active pharmacists. APA continues to be a key initiative for the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) as we strive to ensure Albertans have access to quality care.
Stephanie Morton, Assessment Manager in charge of the APA program through ACP, was one of the first assessors to train in the program and knows how valuable it can be.
“In terms of how it will benefit the marketplace it’s endless because it really opens it up for people to get different and faster care. It’s an advantage to an employer if you have it, and thus an advantage for any pharmacist to have.”
Members of the University of Alberta’s undergraduate Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program will hold a key advantage in this regard as they enter practice here in Alberta. Based on a Council decision from March 2016, these new practitioners no longer have to wait one year before applying for their APA. Now they can do so as soon as they have collected three applicable cases while practicing on the clinical pharmacist register.
“With these graduates coming out now, they’re trained in a very different way than we were in the past.” said Stephanie. “I think that now they are empowered to provide this care to people.”
The one year requirement was waived because those completing undergraduate PharmD programs now gain much more clinical experience during their degree. These new pharmacists will now be able to acquire their APA sooner and thus have the opportunity to provide their patients with more extensive care.
“It’s about providing accessible care, because we are the drug experts.” said Stephanie. “We want to make accessible, quality care available to all Albertans.”