Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

Renewal and excitement mark the start of the fall season: A CPhA priorities update


Glen Doucet
CEO, Canadian Pharmacists Association




Dear colleagues,

Every September, many of us feel a sense of renewal. Whether you’re a student starting a new year, a parent sending your kids back to school or a pharmacist supporting families as they return to school, it’s a busy but exciting time.

That energy is also keenly felt CPhA, and we have an ambitious fall agenda that supports the goals outlined in our strategic plan. Allow me to take this opportunity to share with you our top priorities for the fall, each aimed at bolstering you and the pharmacy profession, and better serving Canadians.

Ongoing pharmacare advocacy

Pharmacare remains at the forefront of our agenda, and we know that federal legislation is imminent. Over the past several years, we have strongly advocated for a universal mixed-payer system that improves coverage for all and recognizes the importance of pharmacy care as part of any pharmacare program. We continue to meet with government officials to ensure that our perspective is reflected in any legislation, and I’m encouraged that we’re being consulted at every step. Throughout the fall, we’ll continue our efforts to raise awareness about the impacts that different pharmacare models will have on pharmacy teams and bring your perspective to the table. Our goal has always been to support patients who struggle to afford their medications, and at a time where pharmacy teams are pushed to the limit, we need to ensure that there are no new administrative burdens added for you and your team.

Supporting our workforce

The well-being of our pharmacy workforce is a priority that we cannot afford to overlook. CPhA has been hard at work creating resources designed to support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in their demanding roles. We know that staffing challenges are a major driver of burnout, so we’re focused on identifying a range of solutions that will help with the retention of pharmacy professionals as well as future recruitment. To this end, we’re advocating for student loan forgiveness programs, accelerating foreign credential recognition, eliminating barriers to licensing and inter-provincial movement and ensuring that pharmacists can practice to their full scope.

Defining full scope of practice

We all know that varying scopes of practice across the country remains one of our biggest challenges as a profession. We also know that being able to practice to full scope is a major driver of professional fulfillment. We’ve heard you loud and clear—having a harmonized scope of practice where all pharmacists can practice to their full scope must be one of our most important priorities.

This fall, we’ll be releasing our vision of what every pharmacist in Canada should be able to do, regardless of where they live and work. We also want to hear from you to make sure that don’t just look to what pharmacists can do now, but what we can do in the future. We hope that with a clear vision, we can work with our provincial members and with the entire pharmacy community to promote this scope and generate change.

Addressing third-party payer pain points

We've also heard your concerns about the complexities, administrative burdens and inconsistencies associated with third-party payers. These issues can detract from our primary responsibility: providing excellent patient care. We’ll be further engaging with insurance providers, aiming for reforms that ensure pharmacist autonomy and ease major pain points.

Improving the features and functionality of CPS

Many of you rely on the CPS in your daily practice and your practice evolves, so does our content. We’re proud of the solutions that we have created and that we provide the best Canadian drug and therapeutic information available. In the next few months, you’ll start to see some new features and functionalities that we hope will make our CPS more responsive to your needs. We know that having the right information at the right time is critical to your practice and we’re making changes to improve searchability and accessibility. Stay tuned for more.

These priorities cannot be achieved in isolation. We count on your active involvement and input to shape these initiatives effectively. We will be hosting a series of webinars, roundtable discussions and surveys in the coming weeks to ensure that we fully reflect your perspectives. We sincerely hope that you will take the time to join us and share your thoughts and experiences.

As pharmacists, each one of us plays a pivotal role in health care. The initiatives we undertake this fall will only strengthen that role, and I couldn't be more optimistic about the path we're paving for our profession.

Wishing you a productive and rewarding season ahead,

Glen Doucet
CEO, Canadian Pharmacists Association