The province announced Monday starting in the summer of 2012, Albertans will be able to get their prescriptions renewed at their local pharmacies as part of this year's budget.

Health Minister Fred Horne said Monday that effective July 1, 2012, pharmacists will be able to renew prescriptions, and pharmacists will be paid to provide the new service.

In addition, on July 1, the government will also reduce the price paid for generic prescription drugs, saving Albertans on their out-of-pocket expenses for generic medication, and saving the government about $85 million this year.

The province also released plans to help pharmacies in remote communities expand their services in preparation for the changes, pledging $5.3 million to be made available this year as part of a three year, $15.9 million Remote Pharmacy Access Grant.

The grant follows a $5 million grant for rural pharmacies and more than $55 million in transitional support for all of the province's pharmacies, which the province said has been provided since 2010.

Those funds would come from the savings generated from the lower generic drug prices.

There are currently 1013 pharmacies in Alberta.