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Leaders in Pharmacy ensure the pharmacy profession is heard

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By donalee Moulton

Photography by Brandon Gray

In the pages that follow, you will meet pharmacists who are making a difference in their companies, in their communities, and in their profession. You will meet pharmacists from across the country, from independent banners, national chains, and associations to owners and executives. You will meet men and women whose experience spans years, and often decades, at the forefront of pharmacy practice.


“Nudging isn’t enough.”

 –  Entrepreneur, advocate and author Jacqueline Novogratz

In these pages, you will meet the Leaders in Pharmacy.

The Leaders in Pharmacy initiative, sponsored by GenMed, a division of Pfizer Canada Inc., brings together pharmacists with unparalleled expertise and vision to explore the changing role of pharmacy in health and wellness, share best practices, and pave the way for strong pharmacist leadership in Canada.

We want to recognize exemplary leaders in the industry at a time when the role of pharmacists in Canada is evolving,” says Allen Van der Wee, Pfizer Canada’s General Manager, Global Established Pharma Business Unit in Kirkland, Quebec. “The healthcare environment is increasingly complex, and it demands strong leadership in order to achieve significant change.

With our healthcare system at a crossroads, pharmacists play a fundamental, essential and growing role in the health of Canadians. The profession stands ready – and able – to provide chronic disease management, immunization services and prescription renewal… to name but a few. These leaders have enhanced and embraced the profession’s role as a primary healthcare provider. They have actively looked for, and embraced, opportunities to improve service delivery and scope of practice.

Patients and the healthcare system are the beneficiaries, says Van der Wee.“Pharmacists are on the frontline with patients everyday.Their strong leadership and expertise can empower patients to play a critical role in the efficiency and effectiveness of our healthcare system.

The Leaders in Pharmacy are also leaders in advocacy and are being recognized for their role in furthering effective advocacy, the theme of this year’s program. “These pharmacy leaders are change agents,” says Van der Wee. “They demonstrate how effective advocacy has enabled them to expand the scope of practice or implement change in their own organizations. Together, we can leverage their expertise. Others in the profession can learn from their experiences.”

Advocacy, our Leaders in Pharmacy tell us, does not always come naturally or comfortably to the pharmacy profession, which has often taken a back seat in discussions of healthcare reform. But driving change is essential. Advocacy is that driver. It awakens and reinforces the need for patients and the public to see pharmacy in a new light; to demonstrate to government the contribution pharmacists can make to a sustainable healthcare system; to lead change, not react to it; to mentor the next generation of pharmacist advocates; and to ensure complacency does not set in.

If we want to achieve optimal patient outcomes and optimal healthcare efficiency, it is critical that all voices and views be heard,” notes Van der Wee. “Pharmacists like these Leaders in Pharmacy have been the ones advocating for change in practice to deliver better care for patients. They see and live the successes, the issues and opportunities of our healthcare systems every day.”

Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by GenMed, a division of Pfizer Canada.