As partner and co-owner of Galenova Inc., a Quebec-based company that specializes in the distribution of pharmaceutical active ingredients, compounding equipment and supplies, and co-owner of the leading compounding pharmacy in the province, Bertrand Bolduc is active as a businessperson and pharmacist. As president of the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec, Bolduc leads the regulating body charged with ensuring the quality of pharmaceutical care and services offered by pharmacists throughout the province.
Education: Université de Montréal (Pharmacy), HEC (MBA), Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D), Montréal
Current role: Partner and co-owner of Galenova Inc. and president of the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec
There are so many options for young people in pharmacy today. What would you say to the graduating class of 2016 about the opportunities ahead?
The only constant in life is change. Evolution is essential. To survive and thrive in your career, you need to stay curious. You need to be engaged. Don’t wait for this to happen, make it happen. Seek out opportunities; look for mentors; surround yourself with people who are advisors and leaders. You need to invest in yourself – and you need to give back. If you care about patients and contribute to the profession, it will give back to you. It did for me.
How has your role evolved since you first started in the field?
My career has been far-reaching, eclectic and very satisfying. I have worked as a student in a hospital setting and as a community pharmacist. I have worked in industry; I am an entrepreneur. Despite the diversity of my work in pharmacy, there has been one constant. As a pharmacist, we know we have the most powerful health tool in our hands – drugs. No one understands the benefits and the risks drugs can have for patients the way we do.
Personally, I also explored every possible opportunity available to me. I never thought, for example, that I would become president of the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec. I got involved to support the organization and contribute more to the profession, but then the leadership role opened up. You need to take the first step.
What will be the biggest changes in pharmacy in the next decade?
Pharmacy will be much less about dispensing in the future. Older drugs are becomng a commodity, newer ones are becoming very expensive treatments. Our coaching role for patients will be where we spend the most time and provide the most value. In the future, we will develop deeper, stronger relationships with our patients. They should know us by name. There will also be a sustained partnership between the pharmacist, the patient and the payer. If we don’t make it happen, we might very well disappear and be replaced by robots.
In these changing times, what do successful partnerships with patients, healthcare providers and others look like?
Partnerships have to be based on trust and professional independence. Patients need to be able to say, “My pharmacist works for me.” Regardless of the nature of the partnership, respect is essential. We also need to look forward and partner with public and private payers. We need to look at how the partnership could evolve in the future. Every partnership needs to be about what we will do tomorrow to add value. That requires mutual trust and knowledge.
Too often as pharmacists and as a profession, we have not been included at the decision-making table. We’re seen as extraneous or expensive. We have to demonstrate our value for patients and society as a whole. We have to position ourselves as preferred partners in these changing times – and we have a lot of work to get there yet.
Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by Pfizer Canada.