“I do this because I believe that pharmacy can thrive not just survive.”
- Dalhousie University – Chemistry and Pharmacy
- Manager of Professional Affairs for Pharmasave Atlantic
Nobody can accuse Rose Dipchand of following a predictable career path. The way she looks at pharmacy and life provides a fresh approach to deal with common issues. Rose looks for new ways for pharmacy to improve the health of patients while remaining viable. Her highly innovative and creative approach provides a model for what the profession can be in the future.
Why did you go into pharmacy?
Education was very important to my family. My two older sisters went into medical school and two younger sisters, law school. I decided to take a slightly different path and started a career in music. Being a musician, and working in the music industry, was a fantastic experience that exposed me to so many areas of life and decision-making. Music has always been my passion and is an important part of my life. However, I wanted to help people more directly. I liked chemistry and healthcare so I embarked on another career, pharmacy.
What did you do when you graduated?
When I finished school, I started working for Pharmasave. I had to be creative as they did not need a full-time pharmacist. I created my own position where I worked in the pharmacy a few days a week and also ran some expanded services on my own. I developed and implemented services such as group presentations, in-home consultations and medication reviews. All services had a fee. The most popular program that I ran was a women’s health consulting service. This was the late ‘90s and very few pharmacists were doing any type of expanded service and even fewer were being paid for them. I saw the gaps in the healthcare system, loved the work and wanted to show that revenue could be generated attached to a service, not a product.
When did you transition to Pharmasave management?
The Atlantic position for manager of pharmacy became available and I was asked by the CEO at the time why I hadn’t submitted a résumé. At two years out of school, I thought I was not qualified for the position and didn’t know the business side of pharmacy well enough. The CEO told me that what I was currently doing was where the profession was heading in the future and I could help more pharmacies by joining the Pharmasave Atlantic office.
What is your greatest challenge?
Balancing these three components: the profession of pharmacy, patient care and the business. We have to develop creative solutions collaboratively with governments and other payers. We cannot lead the profession forward if we keep fighting for our limitations, arguing about what happened “to us” or if we bury our head in the sand and hope for the best.
Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by GenMed, a division of Pfizer