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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
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CPhA Restructures: What Does This Mean For You — CAPSI article

(en français)

In 2014, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) underwent a significant restructuring process that dramatically changed the way in which your national association represents pharmacists’ interests.  Rather than an association of individual pharmacists, the membership of CPhA now includes all 10 provincial pharmacy associations, along with the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy Canada.  CAPSI has also joined as an Organizational Affiliate.  Individual pharmacists who belong to any of these member organizations, including CAPSI, are now considered Associate members of CPhA.

For many individual pharmacists, including pharmacy students, the logical question that comes to mind is, “What does a restructured CPhA mean for me and the future of my profession”?  This is certainly a fair question, and one that has occupied much of CPhA’s thinking over the past few years.  A few of the benefits of CPhA’s restructuring include the following:

  • A stronger, more coordinated voice for pharmacy:  Because provincial pharmacy associations are now members of CPhA, there is a greater opportunity for pharmacy to speak with one national, collaborative voice.  This means that on issues of interest from a pan-Canadian perspective, CPhA and its members can prevent fragmentation and ensure pharmacy speaks with one clear, consistent, strong voice.
  • A greater opportunity to enhance the image and reputation of pharmacy:  Public opinion polls demonstrate that pharmacists have historically enjoyed high trust levels amongst Canadians.  However, many Canadians are still unaware of the services that pharmacists can deliver in their respective province.  Under the new structure, CPhA will be able to work more closely with provincial associations to increase the already high trust that Canadians hold in pharmacists, and will be able to organize more proactive initiatives to communicate to Canadians the role that pharmacists play in the delivery of health care.
  • A stronger advocacy role:  Restructuring has also meant additional resources are being directed to CPhA’s advocacy function.  This greater capacity will not only permit more seamless coordination between the national and provincial pharmacy bodies, but it will permit the pursuit of additional policy changes and objectives, such as increasing access to medication and medication-related services, enhancing medication safety, and increasing uptake of innovation and technology.
  • Greater collaboration within pharmacy to address policy and research gaps:  With greater communication and collaboration between CPhA and its Member Organizations, pharmacy will be in a better position to identify profession-wide gaps in policy and research, and put in place measures designed to address those gaps.  This will provide greater coordination and efficiencies between the national and provincial associations in order to tackle profession-wide concerns.

It’s clear that it will take some time for the “new CPhA” to adjust to the model, and that there will be a learning curve.  However, we are confident that this new model will better position the pharmacy profession and its members to speak more authoritatively, more confidently, and with more coordination than before.   Given the evolving nature of the pharmacy profession, and the many challenges confronting it as it moves more fully towards a patient-centric model, the time for a stronger national voice is now.

In the meantime, tell us what you think!  Let us know your thoughts about CPhA’s new structure, and what you would like to see from the “new” national association – email us, call us, or message us on social media.    As the future of the profession, CPhA is always interested in hearing the voices of pharmacy students!

Jeff Morrison
Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs