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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
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CPhA applauds announcement of opioid summit

July 27, 2016 (Ottawa): The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) applauds the announcement made yesterday by Health Minister Jane Philpott to convene an opioid summit later this fall to develop an action plan on opioids, something that CPhA first called for in 2015.

As frontline health care professionals, pharmacists see first-hand the devastating impact prescription drug abuse can have on the lives of Canadians and, as a profession, we are deeply concerned by the growing number of reported opioid-related overdoses and deaths. CPhA has long been vocal about the need for a multi-pronged strategy to address the misuse, abuse and diversion of controlled substances, which includes education tools to identify addiction risks, improved e-prescribing tools and a national narcotic monitoring system.

As drug experts, pharmacists fully understand how drugs work and how addictions occur, including the factors that lead to medication abuse and misuse. Many pharmacists across Canada provide addiction management services and, as a result, have the potential to interact with those most at risk of overdose.  In addition, pharmacists serve as accessible and important sources of information to heighten awareness as to the risks of high potency opioids, as well as to the inherent addiction risks of these medications. 

While pharmacists have a critical role to play in mitigating opioid misuse, more is needed to ensure the proper tools and policies are in place to enable pharmacists to do their job in this respect. Therefore, the pharmacist voice is essential in developing long-term sustainable solutions to address the misuse, abuse and diversion of controlled substances, including opioids.

CPhA looks forward to participating in this summit and working cooperatively with government, regulators, law enforcement and other health professionals to address this critical and urgent public health issue.

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. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Mark McCondach
Director of Communications
Canadian Pharmacists Association
(613) 523-7877 Ext. 285