Nova Scotia will pay pharmacists to assess and prescribe birth control, medication for urinary tract infections and shingles as of Jan. 1.
As well, starting April 1, pharmacists will be funded to renew prescriptions for things like asthma inhalers and blood pressure medications to a maximum of 180 days.
The moves are part of a $9.14-million five-year agreement with the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia announced Monday by the Health Department.
"The 1,300 pharmacists in the province are an important part of providing access to primary health care for Nova Scotians," Health Minister Randy Delorey said in the release.
"These changes recognize their scope of practice and allows pharmacists to help more Nova Scotians access the care they need."
The changes mean Nova Scotia will have one of the most extensive government-funded pharmacy services in Canada, the release said.
Curtis Chafe, chairman of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia, welcomed the changes to pharmacists’ scope of practice.
"We are pleased that the Government of Nova Scotia has recognized the important role pharmacy plays in providing increased access to health care in this province, and we look forward to working with the Department of Health and Wellness to ensure our fellow Nova Scotians receive health care when and where they need it,” he said in the release.