Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

Canadians recognize value of pharmacists; want more publicly funded health care services delivered at pharmacy

Survey shows continued high-level of trust in profession and the value pharmacists provide

March 28, 2018 (Ottawa): According to a new national survey by Abacus Data, conducted to coincide with Pharmacist Awareness Month, Canadians agree by a strong majority (89%) that health care services provided in a hospital or at a doctor’s office and covered by provincial health plans should also be covered when delivered by a pharmacist.

“While pharmacists continue to have one of the strongest professional reputations in Canada, we are seeing an increasing level of awareness of the value of pharmacists,” said Alistair Bursey, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association. “When given a choice of the same service delivered in a hospital or doctor’s office, Canadians think pharmacists first in terms of convenience, quality, reduced costs to the health care system and they expect those services to be covered by provincial health plans.”

From convenience and improved access to health outcomes and reduced costs, Canadians are recognizing the advantages of pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice across the country. 84% of Canadians agree that allowing pharmacists to do more for patients will both improve health outcomes and 85% agree that expanded scope will reduce health care costs.

More Canadians are saying pharmacists are playing an essential role in our health care system than ever before. Almost all Canadians (93%) believe pharmacists play an essential or important role in Canada’s health care system—a 7-point increase compared to two years ago.

Other notable results from this year’s survey include:

  • 93% of Canadians have a positive impression of pharmacists, more than doctors, teachers, military officers, or police officers.
  • Most Canadians trust pharmacists to provide advice on medicines (96%), management of common ailments (93%), healthy lifestyle changes (90%), management of chronic health conditions (90%), and vaccinations (87%).
  • Most Canadians are open to visiting their pharmacy for health care services beyond filling a prescription.8 in 10 Canadians are likely to visit a pharmacist for advice on medicines they are taking, 78% are likely to visit a pharmacist for management of common ailments like the flu or cold, and 72% say they are likely to visit a pharmacist to get a flu shot.

Pharmacists are increasingly a trusted source of health care information and services. While their role has expanded greatly over the past decade, pharmacists are ready to do even more in Canada’s health care system. Canadians know that when pharmacists have the authority to provide health services it leads to better care, better health and better value for our health care dollar.

The survey on perceptions and attitudes towards pharmacists was conducted online with a representative sample of 4,023 adult Canadians and was statistically weighted to match the Canadian population.  The survey was completed from February 23 to March 4, 2018 by Abacus Data.

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.