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ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Committed to Cutting Red Tape: Reforms Bring $10 Million in Red Tape Relief to Canadian Business

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For immediate release

January 21, 2013

Toronto – The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today announced new red tape relief for Canadian businesses as part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to support jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

Minister Clement, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, unveiled proposed changes to the Food and Drug Regulations that will reduce red tape for Canadian pharmacies, saving pharmacies an estimated $8.7 million per year in administrative costs. This reform will allow provincially regulated pharmacy technicians to transfer prescriptions to another pharmacy. The announcement is one of several red tape-cutting measures being announced by the Government of Canada today that will generate $10 million in annual savings for Canadian businesses.

“Cutting red tape and freeing businesses from unnecessary regulations so they can focus on creating jobs, innovating and growing is a key priority of our Government,” said Minister Clement. “This change will enable pharmacists to spend more time providing advice to and serving customers, while running their businesses.”

The change will allow regulated pharmacy technicians to oversee the transfer of prescriptions from one pharmacy to another—a task currently restricted to pharmacists—and to complete the associated paperwork. Some 15,000 community pharmacists across Canada could benefit from the amendment right away, which will take effect in three provinces this year—Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

“This amendment to the Food and Drug Regulations is a welcome step forward, and one that will enable pharmacists to focus more of their time on direct patient care,” said Dennis Darby, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association. “As key members of the pharmacy team, pharmacy technicians need to be able to practise to their full scope so that pharmacists can provide the best, most efficient health care to patients.”

In addition to changes to the Food and Drug Regulations, two other reforms were unveiled today as part of the Government’s Red Tape Reduction Action Plan:

Launched in October 2012, the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan introduces systemic reforms to the federal regulatory system to limit regulatory creep and make the system more transparent, accountable and predictable. The Plan includes 90 department-specific changes to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and introduce time-saving measures, such as single windows and electronic submissions.

Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, applauded the Government’s red tape-cutting efforts. “The federal government continues to demonstrate an unprecedented commitment to reduce red tape. Millions of dollars that were spent complying with unnecessary rules can now be used to train staff, better serve customers, create jobs and grow businesses,” said Jones. “Continuing on this path promises huge rewards for all Canadians.”

“The Red Tape Reduction Action Plan is one of the most far-reaching red tape-cutting exercises in the world today,” said Minister Clement. “We are committed to making regulation as transparent, accountable and customer-friendly as possible so businesses and our economy can thrive.”

For more details on the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, please visit the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan.

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Prescription Transfers - New Rules

Convenience for Pharmacies and Consumers

Transferring a prescription from one pharmacy to another is a common event for Canadian consumers. The federal rules around this process should make it easy and convenient to do.

Recognizing a New Role for Regulated Pharmacy Technicians

A small change in the Food and Drug Regulations will be made to allow regulated pharmacy technicians to transfer prescriptions from one pharmacy to another and also to complete the associated paperwork, where this is permitted by provincial authorities.

Creating Efficiency

As part of an overall goal of modernizing regulations to meet Canadians needs, this change in the Food and Drug Regulations will remove the restriction requiring prescription transfers to be performed only by a pharmacist. This will free up pharmacists to spend more time providing support to patients and performing other duties that require a higher level of training. Since it will make it more efficient for a pharmacy to move prescriptions from one pharmacy to another, consumers will benefit.

Reducing Administrative Burden

Including regulated pharmacy technicians in the Food and Drug Regulations would be consistent with the existing and proposed provincial regulations to make better use of health professionals’ skills and reduce the administrative burden to community pharmacies and retailers that dispense prescriptions. While the same level of safety and oversight of prescription drugs will be maintained, pharmacies will have more opportunity for efficiencies.


This proposed change was published for public consultation in the Canada Gazette Part 1 on December 22, 2012. Comments and feedback gathered during the consultation will be incorporated into a final version of the amendment.