Pharmacy Services

Prescription Adaptation

Since 2009, using their professional judgement, pharmacists are able to renew or adapt your existing prescriptions, if it’s in your best interest to do so.

Understanding Your Pharmacist’s Role in Renewing or Adapting Your Prescription

The more they know, the more they can help. Your pharmacist is an integral member of your health-care team. They have the information needed to protect you from drug interactions and avoidable allergic reactions, and to make sure you get the most benefit from your medication. They can also help you with over-the-counter products, supplement advice, and health challenges such as losing weight and smoking cessation. Pharmacists strive to offer the best care possible to their patients. Although pharmacists can renew or adapt existing prescriptions for you, they are not obligated to do so, and must consider each situation individually to make certain any change would be in your best interest. For this reason, it is vital that you have a good relationship with your pharmacist. Your pharmacist can only determine what is best for you, and what is safe, if they know your history, your lifestyle, and your current health condition. Although pharmacists can renew/adapt prescriptions, they are not obligated to do so, and will consider each situation individually.

When using their professional judgment, your pharmacist must consider the following:

Do they have the original prescription and is the prescription still valid?
Do they have sufficient information about you and your health status?
Is renewing or adapting your prescription in your best interest, and have you given your consent?

If a pharmacist is comfortable with all of the above they may renew or adapt your prescription, document their decision, and notify your doctor. Talk to your local Peoples Pharmacist for more information on prescription adaptation.

Adapting A Prescription, Is It Right For You?

Q. What expanded roles do pharmacists have?
A: Since 2009 pharmacists have been able to expand services they offer to patients. One of the biggest changes is that your pharmacist may be able to renew or adapt your existing prescription.

Q: Will my pharmacist renew my prescription?
A: Maybe. It depends on whether or not your prescription is still valid (normally one year from the date it was written), whether your pharmacist has enough knowledge of your condition and treatment, is familiar with you and your health history, and whether, in their professional judgement, it is in your best interest to do so.

* Q. What is meant by ‘adapting’ a prescription?
A: Right now, if your pharmacist identifies a need to change your prescription, they must contact your doctor for authorization before making the change. Pharmacists can adapt the prescription and notify your doctor within 24 hours. For the most part, the changes your pharmacist would consider are: adding a missing dose to a long-standing prescription or substituting one drug for another, within the same class of drugs, due to side effects.*

Q. Does this mean I no longer need to see my doctor?
A: No. Although pharmacists now have the authority to renew or adapt your prescription, this does not replace your need to see your doctor for regular check- ups and monitoring of your condition.

Q. Can a pharmacist refuse to renew or adapt my prescription?
A: Yes. Pharmacists are not obligated to renew or adapt a prescription and will consider each situation individually to determine if they have sufficient information about you and your health status to make a change that is in your best interest.*

Q: Is my pharmacist qualified to renew or adapt my prescription?
A: Yes. Pharmacists, as medication experts in our health-care system, have extensive education, training and experience with drug therapies. Your pharmacist has access to your prescription medication history, and as such, is in the best position to identify potential drug interactions or allergic reactions.

Talk to your local Peoples Pharmacist for more information on prescription adaptation.