Pharmacists call on governments to invest in community healthcare
New pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance agreement an opportunity to increase the accessibility of quality healthcare services for patients
January 29, 2018 (Ottawa): Pharmacists understand the needs of patients and desire of government to get fair value for drug prices to ensure that Canadians can afford their medications. Today, the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) and governments across Canada announced a new generic drug price framework that will reduce the price of generic drugs. This new agreement, which is going to generate considerable savings for governments but have a significant financial impact on the pharmacy industry, is an opportunity to increase the accessibility and quality of healthcare services for patients in communities.
Pharmacists continue to provide an increased level of care to Canadians – and have never been more accessible, vital contributors to patient and community health than we are today. In fact, every day, pharmacies are driving value in the healthcare system and providing efficient and high-quality services to patients in communities across Canada. But pharmacists could be doing even more.
“We believe that this new pricing framework is an opportunity for governments to invest a portion of the anticipated savings back into frontline services that pharmacies offer to enhance patient care,” stated Justin Bates, CEO of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada. “There are more than 10,000 pharmacies well-positioned to increase their contributions by providing more harmonized services across the country such as increasing access to common ailments services as we continue to provide high quality, accessible, and cost-effective services to patients when and where they need it.”
Canada’s 42,000 pharmacists believe that through targeted and much needed investments, governments and patients could benefit from enhanced coverage of both medications and pharmacist provided care and services to ensure medicines are being used effectively.
“Pharmacies have never been more important to patient and community health,” stated Alistair Bursey, Chair of the Canadian Pharmacists Association. “From counselling patients on how to take their mediations safely, to giving flu shots, pharmacists are consistently providing the highest level of care to Canadians.”
Right now, across Canada, governments and pharmacists are working to tackle some of our most pressing health challenges from the urgency of the opioid crisis, to increasing access to home care, mental health services and vaccines.
While pCPA did not engage pharmacy in its decision, pharmacy and pharmacists look forward to an engaged dialogue on how to reinvest the money saved from lower drug prices to benefit patients through expanded community-based pharmacist services. By investing some of these savings into community-based care, governments can support pharmacists, deliver the quality of care patients have come to expect and allow for pharmacy to innovate and provide more comprehensive front-line services. This would aide governments and help patients by alleviating the burdens to access patients currently face in primary care settings.
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.
About the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada:
Neighbourhood Pharmacies represents the delivery of care in pharmacies across the country and advocates for Canada’s leading pharmacy organizations who deliver high value, quality care in all patient care models including chain, banner, long-term care, and specialty pharmacies as well as grocery chains and mass merchandisers with pharmacies.
We are the voice and advocate for our members who:
- Are the Canadian business leaders and health professionals committed to running successful, sustainable neighbourhood pharmacies;
- Operate neighbourhood pharmacies across Canada and provide pharmacy services and other core healthcare products and services;
- Focus on wellness, treatment and prevention;
- Ensure fulfilment of almost 70% of Canadian prescriptions each year;
For more information contact:
Strategic Communications Manager
Canadian Pharmacists Association
Vice President, Public Affairs
Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada
(416) 226-9100 ext 4006