The findings of the new Pharmacy 360 report have confirmed the critical role that neighbourhood pharmacies play in the healthcare of Canadians.
The report captures the results of a comprehensive survey undertaken by the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) and administered by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in spring 2015. In addition to the Pharmacy 360 survey, additional data sources included IMS Brogan, Statistics Canada, and the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA). Fifty-four percent of the survey responses were from corporately owned pharmacies, and 35% were from independent owners, while the remaining 11% were a mixture of other ownership formats.
The report underscores the increasing demand for medication management services in Canada. In 2015, Canada’s neighbourhood pharmacies dispensed approximately 637 million prescriptions, an increase of almost 5% over 2014, while Canada’s population increased by less than 1%. Indeed, the number of prescriptions dispensed annually per person has been rising steadily, increasing from 16.5 prescriptions per person in 2013 to 17.7 in 2015. To meet this growing demand for medication, the number of pharmacies has also grown, so that pharmacy remains a readily accessible healthcare location.
Commenting on the Pharmacy 360 report, Justin J. Bates, CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacies, said, “Our research has revealed that 80% of Canadians return to the same neighbourhood pharmacy always or most of the time and more than half of our patients purchase their non-prescription (OTC) products at the same pharmacy they rely on for their prescriptions. Canadian patients continue to have full confidence in their pharmacies as front-line service providers of, to name just one example, non-prescription product recommendations and counselling in the management of self-limiting common ailments.”
In addition, the Pharmacy 360 survey found that pharmacies are diversifying their patient care services, to help patients stay healthy. Almost 90% of pharmacies offer special packaging to help patients take their medications at the right time of day, while 85% provide regular medication reviews and reconciliations. “Patient adherence to their medication regimen is a vital element in ensuring optimal health outcomes, so it is gratifying to see the important clinical focus and strategies that neighbourhood pharmacies are employing” stated Mr. Bates, who added that “these opportunities to deliver a broader range of patient care services also require significant investments in training and attention to such issues as the optimal use of pharmacists, regulated pharmacy technicians, and technology.”
Additional Pharmacy 360 Statistics:
- With 9,750 pharmacies across Canada, a pharmacist is the most readily accessible health care professional
- With 27 pharmacies per 100,000 population, Canadians have access to more patient healthcare services at more pharmacies than residents of other countries, including Germany (25.9/100,000 population) and the UK (17.6/100,000 population)
- More than 7 in 10 pharmacies provide vaccinations and immunizations
- Almost 2 in 3 pharmacies offer smoking cessation services
- 62% of pharmacies offer medical device training, e.g. blood glucose monitors
- There are significant differences in population demographics and regulatory restrictions on pharmacists’ scopes of practice from region to region. For example, although Ontario has above average prescription growth, the province, along with British Columbia, does not permit pharmacists to offer common ailment assessments and treatments
To access a summary of the report and for an order form, please visit www.myneighbourhoodpharmacies.ca.