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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

CPhA receives contribution for 200,000 surgical masks to be distributed to community pharmacies

April 28, 2020 (Ottawa): The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is pleased to announce that, through a financial contribution from Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC), it has secured and is distributing more than 200,000 surgical masks to community pharmacies across the country to support pharmacists and their teams who are continuing to deliver care to patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are tremendously grateful for the generous support from Innovative Medicines Canada and its members to purchase this much needed personal protective equipment,” said Christine Hrudka, Chair of the Canadian Pharmacists Association. “Over the past several weeks we have heard repeatedly from pharmacists across the country about the lack of access to PPE and the impact that this could have on their ability to remain open and provide face-to-face care to their patients.”

Providing health care services during the pandemic requires an added level of care and precaution and accessing PPE has been a challenge for many pharmacists.

Community pharmacies have been designated as essential services across the country, which means that they remain open when others close. Pharmacists are the first and most frequent point of contact for many Canadians, particularly those with chronic disease and other risk factors that make them more vulnerable to the effects of infection with COVID-19.

While pharmacies have put in place many important physical distancing measures and protective barriers, there are many times when pharmacists come into close contact with patients who have walked into their pharmacies seeking care and advice. Unfortunately, in a survey of 1,500 pharmacists conducted by CPhA this April, 21% of the pharmacists polled say that no masks were currently available, while 60% say they are dealing with a limited supply.

“While we recognize that pharmacies will require a steady supply of masks and other equipment, such as gloves, for the duration of this crisis, we are hopeful this contribution will help alleviate some of the pressures placed on pharmacies, while we continue to advocate for greater access to PPE,” said Hrudka. “While it is a pharmacists’ duty to keep patients safe, they can’t succeed if they themselves aren’t protected and that’s why this donation is so meaningful.”

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.