Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

CPhA saddened to hear of passing of Murray Koffler

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is saddened to hear of the passing of Murray Koffler. An innovator, community activist, business trendsetter, philanthropist, humanitarian and, of course, a pharmacist, Mr. Koffler was known by many names. His level of contribution to his profession, to the landscape of Canadian pharmacy and to the health of Canadians has few equals.   

Murray Koffler had a huge impact on the pharmacy profession in Canada, including the founding of Shoppers Drug Mart.  He focussed on the relatively new concepts of mass merchandising and consumer self-selection to develop a drugstore network that extended to every province in Canada.  Mr. Koffler was a pioneer in many ways and, in addition to creating Canada’s largest drugstore business, contributed his efforts to important causes including the launch of the Council on Drug Abuse – a harm reduction initiative that has existed for more than 45 years and was designed to protect children and youth from substance abuse. 

His philanthropic endeavours were well known and admired, including the support for women’s health issues, which continues to be a focus of Shoppers Drug Mart today.  He was also recognized for his leadership in raising funds to both advance critical medical research and to enhance the quality of health care institutions in his community.  He also gave back to his community in other ways, including the establishment of the Koffler Centre of the Arts that continues to enrich the cultural life of the city of Toronto through arts education and exhibitions.

Murray Koffler was a true visionary and in many ways an architect of how pharmacy is practiced today in Canada. In 1985 CPhA awarded Mr. Koffler an Honorary Life Award in recognition of his outstanding service to pharmacy. The Canadian pharmacy profession has lost a true icon and we send our condolences to his family and friends.