Neighbourhood Pharmacies submitted a response to the ON 2021 pre-budget consultation on February 12, 2021. The submission highlighted Neighbourhood Pharmacies' eight recommendations:
RECOMMENDATION #1: Leverage pharmacy’s existing robust pharmaceutical distribution system to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
RECOMMENDATION #2: Maximize the scale of Ontario’s COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign by prioritizing pharmacists and pharmacy staff to receive the vaccine.
RECOMMENDATION #3: Offer pharmacists reasonable reimbursement of $16.00 a dose for the COVID-19 vaccine, recognizing the complexity and costs to deliver the program.
RECOMMENDATION #4: Update the vaccine administration fee to $13.50 to cover the actual costs to administer the vaccine.
RECOMMENDATION #5: Enable pharmacists to offer publicly funded routine vaccines by building on the success of the influenza program, streamlining the distribution of these vaccines through the pharmaceutical supply chain, and expanding access to publicly funded vaccines through community pharmacies. Remuneration should be $13.50, consistent with Recommendation #4.
RECOMMENDATION #6: Further leverage pharmacists’ ability to administer point of care tests for COVID-19 to help expand the province’s testing and screening capacity using rapid tests in community pharmacies.
RECOMMENDATION #7: Enable pharmacist-administered point of care testing to support disease screening initiatives, chronic disease management, as well as by providing pharmacists with the ability to order and access lab tests.
RECOMMENDATION #8: Enact the proposed changes to scope of practice necessary to enable patients to see a trained pharmacist close to home for the assessment and, if necessary, treatment of common ailments and encourage adoption of the service by funding a $20.00 assessment fee.