Pharmacists in Nova Scotia will now be able to do more for patients seeking a refill, adjustment or extension of their prescription medications.

Recent changes to pharmacy regulations in the province will now permit pharmacists to refill or modify a prescription using their own judgment, extend expired prescriptions beyond 30 days when necessary, provide some medications when a doctor is not available, and even issue an initial prescription for drugs typically sold from behind the counter.

“These new regulations will ensure that Nova Scotians will get the medicines they need even if they can’t get to their doctor,” said Health Minister Maureen MacDonald in a release.

Further changes that will allow pharmacists to prescribe additional medications — including those that can now only be prescribed by a doctor, dentist or nurse — are expected to be implemented this fall, said the release.