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Pharmacy Services

Please Note: This is not the Metro Dispensary

The IWK Pharmacy provides comprehensive pharmaceutical services to meet the drug-related needs of our patients. We work with other members of the healthcare team to provide safe, cost-effective drug therapy. Please note, The IWK does not operate a retail pharmacy service. 

How we help

The Pharmacy enhances patient care through the optimal use of medication-use systems and providing practice excellence through high quality, evidence based clinical pharmacy services in an atmosphere of professionalism, mutual-respect and cooperation. Pharmacy employs over 70 staff who are highly skilled pharmacists, pharmacy practice assistants, and administrative support staff. They’re experienced in drug use management in newborns, pediatrics, mental health and addictions, and women’s health. Our pharmacy practice assistants are key to our medication distribution system and provide valuable support to clinical teams. 

IWK Pharmacy Services include:

  • Selection, procurement, storage and dispensing of pharmaceuticals
  • Provision of pharmaceutical care
  • Drug monitoring
  • Patient drug assessment functions
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Medication stewardship
  • Medication reconciliation
  • High risk medication management
  • Drug use evaluation
  • Practice-based research and research support
  • Drug information
  • Education programs
  • Learner placements and performance improvement
  • Quality and patient safety functions

What to expect

The primary members of the medication therapy team are physicians, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy practice assistants. While you are at the IWK, the whole team is responsible for ensuring you receive the necessary medications and that they are delivering the desired outcomes. 

Your care at the IWK requires a complete history of your medications. Physicians, nurses and pharmacists will ask you about your medications and how you use them. The medications we need to know about include:

  • prescribed medications
  • medications you take that do not need a prescription (e.g. ibuprofen, acetaminophen, ASA, cough and cold products, etc.)
  • nutritional supplements such as vitamins and minerals 
  • nutraceuticals such as chondroitin, glucosamine, CoQ10, St. John's Wort, etc
  • any recreational drugs such as alcohol, cannabis

Your community pharmacy can provide you with a list of the prescription medications they have provided to you. However, they may not include over the counter products. This information is also important to us.

We ask that you bring all bottles, vials, ointments or creams, dropper bottles, puffers, etc. with you when admitted to IWK Health. Any medication not needed will be returned home after they have been reviewed by your health care team. We may also ask for your support to contact your pharmacy for detailed information about your medication use at home. We’ll often work with your community pharmacist to ensure you’re well supported in your new medication regimen after you are discharged from IWK Health. 

In reviewing your medications you'll be asked questions to confirm which of these medications you're currently taking and how you take them. You may be asked questions regarding your understanding of why you’re taking each medication. Your success on medication therapy requires that we ensure you have a clear understanding of why you take each medication. 

Our pharmacists are active participants in undergraduate teaching at Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy and School of Medicine. We provide placements for Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Community College, as well as International Students and Hospital Pharmacy Residents.