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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
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CPhA welcomes health investments in Budget 2017

(en français)

Calls upon all governments to work with pharmacist community to deliver on key health care priorities

March 23, 2017 (Ottawa): The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) welcomes the health care investments announced in the 2017 federal budget. CPhA is pleased to see its recommendations reflected in public health funding for cannabis education and investments in the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program (NIHB) to provide equitable health care services for First Nations and Inuit. Also, pharmacists look forward to working with the government on the implementation of important initiatives in the areas of home care and mental health, which were reaffirmed as key priorities in the Budget.

CPhA applauds the government’s commitment to invest $305 million over 5 years in the NIHB program, a significant step towards improving equitable access to care. Expanding the NIHB program to include publicly-funded health services provided by pharmacists will improve patient health outcomes and provide program savings through medication adherence and appropriate use. In addition, CPhA has called on the government to educate the public about the potential harms of cannabis use, including the possibility of interaction with prescription drugs. The reallocation of existing funding to support cannabis education in advance of legalization is an important step in the protection of public health and safety.

Furthermore, CPhA is pleased that the Budget recognizes the importance of stable and predictable funding to maintaining Canada’s health care system and the need to strengthen the health care system to adapt and innovate – especially in the areas of home care and mental health – in the agreements with the provinces and territories. Pharmacists’ medication expertise and expanded scope offer innovative solutions to provide accessible home, community and palliative care, and improve access to community-based mental health services.

To meet the emerging health care needs of Canadians, particularly in the areas of mental health and home care, CPhA urges federal and provincial governments to work with the pharmacist community in their jurisdictions to identify how pharmacist care solutions can improve access and health outcomes.  As the most accessible health care providers, pharmacists are leading the way with innovative practices across Canada in delivering needed care to Canadians.  CPhA, and our Member Organizations across the country, look forward to working with governments to advance these important health care priorities.

Background Information

Mental Health

  • Medication is often a key element of treatment for people with mental illnesses, making pharmacists an important resource for assessing people for mental illnesses and ensuring that medications are safe and effective.
  • By providing services such as screening clinics and medication reviews, pharmacists can have a meaningful impact on mental health care in the community.
  • Evidence shows that pharmacist-led comprehensive medication management improves care for patients with psychiatric disorders and can yield cost savings by preventing potentially harmful adverse events.

Home Care

  • Pharmacists also help provide seamless care, helping ease patients' transition from hospital to home.
  • Medication errors at transitions in health care services are especially common, but studies show that pharmacist medication reconciliation can intercept 75% of important errors.
  • Pharmacists can also provide exceptional value to home care patients, through ongoing medication assessments, home vaccinations, and minor ailments prescribing.

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:

Stefi Proulx
Media and Stakeholder Relations Specialist