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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

CPhA signs joint action plan to tackle Canada's opioid crisis

Commits to working with governments, regulators, law enforcement, industry and health care professionals

November 19, 2016 (Ottawa): The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is pleased with the meaningful discussions held at this weekend’s Opioid Conference and Summit, co-hosted by federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott and Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins, and is encouraged by the commitments made in the multi-stakeholder joint action plan signed today.

This week, CPhA was among a group of experts, stakeholders, and health professionals selected by government who met to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the growing problem of opioid misuse and abuse, and associated overdose deaths.

“The role of pharmacists cannot be underestimated in this discussion. Pharmacists are on the front lines, and often see their patients slipping into dangerous use of opioids. They are also a daily touchpoint for patients who are managing their addictions,” said Alistair Bursey, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association.

As the national voice of pharmacists in Canada, CPhA is committed to demonstrating leadership in the fight against opioid abuse and to supporting the pharmacist profession with the tools and information that they need on the front lines of this crisis. This includes:

  • Developing and disseminating clear guidelines and standards of practice for practitioners to improve the interdisciplinary approach to managing opioid use
  • Supporting the implementation of fully integrated electronic drug monitoring systems across the country to provide information to governments and practitioners to improve patient outcomes
  • Working with Health Canada, regulatory bodies and stakeholders towards extending prescribing authority for pharmacists to include medication management of controlled substances.

“CPhA is encouraged to see such commitment from the federal government as well as provincial and territorial governments to tackling this very challenging issue. However, we also recognize that this is only the beginning of the discussion. Canadian pharmacists are playing and will continue to play a critical role in helping to combat this crisis across the country and we’re looking forward to working with our colleagues in the health care community to make some significant progress in the coming months,” added Bursey.

CPhA believes that tackling opioid abuse, while ensuring patient access to effective pain management therapies, will require a multi-pronged approach with the engagement of a cross section of stakeholders. CPhA is committed to working collaboratively with governments, regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies, industry and health care professionals to ensure that the right tools and systems are in place to support efforts to address opioid misuse and abuse.

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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, contact:

Stefi Proulx
Media and Stakeholder Relations