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Can Pharm J (Ott). 2012 Mar;145(2):78-82. doi: 10.3821/145.2.cpj78.

Evaluating the labour costs associated with pharmacy adaptation services in British Columbia.



Pharmacists' scope of practice has been steadily expanding across Canada to encompass clinical activities. In January 2009, pharmacists in British Columbia (BC) were given the authority to adapt prescriptions for renewals; change in dose, formulation or regimen; and therapeutic substitutions. This study evaluated the labour costs associated with pharmacy adaptation services in BC. >


Ten high-adapting pharmacies participated in the study. Through workflow observations, we measured the time incurred for adapted and nonadapted prescriptions.


We observed 91 adapted prescriptions and 1081 nonadapted prescriptions. The total average time to provide adapted prescriptions was 6:43 minutes (SD 3:50) longer than to provide nonadapted prescriptions. The total average cost of an adapted prescription was $6.10 greater than a nonadapted prescription. Renewals took the least amount of time to complete, and therapeutic substitutions took the most time to complete.


Through workflow observations, it was determined that 10 stages of activity occur when adapting a prescription, with the most time being expended during the documentation and processing phases. Labour costs associated with adapted prescriptions were higher than for nonadapted prescriptions.

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