According to a new national survey by Abacus Data, conducted to coincide with Pharmacist Awareness Month, 92% of Canadians believe pharmacists play an essential or important role in Canada’s health care system—a three-point increase in those saying pharmacists are essential to the system compared to a similar survey conducted last year.
“While pharmacists continue to have one of the strongest professional reputations in Canada, we are seeing an increasing level of awareness and trust surrounding the expanded services we are now delivering,” said Alistair Bursey, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association, in a news release. “This is a testament to the professional, high-quality care pharmacists continue to provide across the country.”
Canadians are increasingly recognizing and supporting the essential role pharmacists play in our health care system. From flu shots to advice on medications, the management of chronic health conditions and common ailments, Canadians are embracing expanded pharmacy services and recognizing the value pharmacists are providing.
Other key findings:
- 94% of Canadians have a positive impression of pharmacists, more than doctors, teachers, military officers, or police officers.
- Most Canadians trust pharmacists to provide advice on medicines (96%), management of common ailments (94%), healthy lifestyle changes (91%), and vaccinations (88%)— trust levels which continue to increase year-over-year since surveying began in 2015.
- Canadians recognize the advantages of pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice. More than 4 in 5 Canadians, 82%, say allowing pharmacists to do more for patients will both improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.
- Most Canadians are open to visiting their pharmacy for health care services beyond filling a prescription. 9 in 10 Canadians are likely to visit a pharmacist for advice on medicines they are taking, 80% are likely to visit a pharmacist for management of common ailments like the flu or cold, and 70% say they are likely to visit a pharmacist to get a flu shot.
Canadian pharmacists are increasingly a trusted source of health care information and services. While their role has expanded greatly over the past decade, pharmacists are ready to do even more in Canada’s health care system. Canadians know that when pharmacists have the authority to provide health services it leads to better care, better health and better value for our health care dollar.
The survey on perceptions and attitudes towards pharmacists was conducted online with a representative sample of 4,173 adult Canadians and was statistically weighted to match the Canadian population. The survey was completed from February 10 to 16, 2017 by Abacus Data.