Canadian pharmacists launch 2019 election platform, call for action to address growing number of drug shortages
September 17, 2019 (Ottawa): The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) today released its 2019 Election Platform, calling on all federal parties to demonstrate their commitment to addressing a range of barriers Canadian patients continue to face when it comes to accessing medications and health care services.
The platform, Health care in Canada needs to see a pharmacist, outlines five of the key health care issues that CPhA is calling for commitment on:
- Drug shortages: An action plan to ensure that Canada has a stable drug supply
- Opioid dependency: A comprehensive program to minimize the harms associated with prescription opioid use with a focus on improved monitoring, counselling and education programs for first-time opioid patients
- Lack of access to community care: Invest in and expand access to community-based health care to address gaps in access such as women’s health and seniors' care
- Pharmacare: Improve coverage for Canadians with a sustainable pharmacare plan
- Support for medical cannabis patients: Clear policies that differentiate the medical and recreational cannabis streams and improve access and care for medical cannabis patients
“Every week pharmacists see about 10 million patients across the country. As the most frequent point-of-contact between Canadians and our health care system, we see the barriers our patients face daily and the opportunities for our health care system to do better. By finding solutions and applying our resources effectively and sustainably we can ensure our health care system is equipped to keep up with our evolving health care needs,” said Christine Hrudka, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association.
With a growing number of drug shortages over the past year and potential additional strain on Canada’s drug supply due to U.S. drug importation plans, Canadian pharmacists have been increasingly calling on government to develop a comprehensive action plan on drug shortages. According to recent polling, 1 in 4 Canadians have either personally experienced or know someone who has experienced a drug shortage in the last 3 years and more than 2/3 of pharmacists deal with drug shortages daily or multiple times a day.
“Chief among our election asks is a commitment from federal parties to take real action to address drug shortages. This is an issue that pharmacists encounter on a daily basis and we work hard to reduce the effects of disruption on our patients. In addition to potential health implications for patients, pharmacists spend up to 20% of their shifts dealing with drug shortages, this is valuable time spent away from delivering health care services to our patients at the pharmacy,” added Hrudka.
CPhA calling for a comprehensive action plan to address shortages that includes research into the causes and solutions of drug supply issues, leadership on the international stage to enact tangible solutions to this problem and supports for frontline health care providers who are struggling to manage supply disruptions.
Acting on the priority issues outlined in CPhA’s Election Platform will help us achieve an effective and sustainable health care system that will benefit all Canadians and help us live better, healthier lives. For more information and to get involved, visit rethinkpharmacists.ca/election2019.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians.