The health authority for Alberta province, Alberta Health Services (AHS), has earmarked a piece of land in the northwest part of Edmonton to build a $36 million pharmaceutical center. AHS recently said in a press release that this move is part of a larger project, which is worth $66 million, for centralizing the medication preparation and distribution for hospitals.

The company further said that establishment of the 3,700 square meter facility would be accompanied by the upgradation of five regional hubs and the expansion of a production facility in Calgary.

Before the site for the regional pharmacy central drug production and distribution center was reserved, the province in May had asked for bids. The centre would be accountable for mixing and packaging medication for the health facilities in the region on its completion.

Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, stated that this project would make Alberta a national leader in medication management. Purportedly, the project is scheduled to be completed by 2023, with the construction anticipated to begin in 2021.

Karen Horon with AHS Pharmacy Services said that there are various advantages of producing medications in a centralized pharmacy. It maximizes the time nurses spend with patients by lowering the time spent on preparing doses. Also, by supplying medications in patient-specific, ready-to-administer packages, they would be lowering the risk of medication errors.

In addition to the pharmaceutical centre, other phases would apparently be featuring $8.5 million worth upgrades to hubs in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray, along with a $22-million expansion of production facility in Calgary. Funding for this work was included in the most recent five year capital plan released by the NDP government.

According to last year’s analysis by Alberta Infrastructure, it was anticipated that this project would save $3.7 million in reduced medical errors every year, along with $1 million to $3 million reduction in renovation costs.