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Introducing…the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada

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There’s a new advocate in communities across Canada dedicated to bringing healthcare closer to Canadians where they live, work and play.

By Talbot Boggs

The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (formerly the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores) unveiled itself and its new brand at its fall meeting in Toronto in September.

“A little more than a year ago we set out to transform our industry and the way neighbourhood pharmacy is viewed in this country by patients, the profession, private payers and governments,” said Frank Scorpiniti, Chair of the association’s Board and CEO of Rexall. “We then began a five-year strategic plan with the bold vision of becoming a strong voice and leading advocate for the business and a trusted adviser to governments, and formally committed our industry and association to being part of the solution to the challenges facing Canada’s healthcare system.”

In the last year the association launched its healthcare closer to home advocacy program focused on patients and the valuable services that neighbourhood pharmacies provide to them. The program includes a branded, public-friendly web site, national and local media articles and a tour program that takes politicians into neighbourhood pharmacies to demonstrate how expanded scope of practice can deliver better patient outcomes and make better use of taxpayers’ dollars.

The association established a formal public affairs program and engaged with key government contacts on new funding models and sustainable health policies to enhance patient care and access to healthcare services.

It also completed national public opinion and baseline behavioural research, specifically examining Canadians’ perception of neighbourhood pharmacy and how patients manage chronic conditions.

“The research shows that Canadians recognize pharmacy’s potential contribution to primary healthcare, but they also want to know more about what is being offered and the benefits to all stakeholders,” Scorpiniti said. “Our proprietary research delivers both the fuel and the credibility to drive our association’s advocacy efforts with governments in support of favourable policy development and provincial negotiations.”

The research is summarized in a family of new publications called the neighbourhood pharmacy research series, designed to develop evidence-based business and policy proposals that deliver tangible positive health and economic outcomes and deliver strategic insights about neighbourhood pharmacy, patients, payers, governments and private payers.

The association, added Scorpiniti, will continue to be at the forefront of changes in healthcare policy, advocating for pharmacists to ensure neighbourhood pharmacies are appropriately valued across Canada and are part of the solution to a sustainable healthcare system.

Check out the new website: http://www.neighbourhoodpharmacies.ca/