Pharmacy U

Iris Krawchenko helps shape the new pharmacy


“The practice of pharmacy offers so many pathways to foster passion and commitment to the profession – You have the opportunity and responsibility to make it great.”



  • University of Toronto – Pharmacy

Current Role

  • Consultant Pharmacist, Speaker and CE Writer

With her focus on teaching practical implementation of practice advancement and passion for the pharmacy profession, Iris Krawchenko is helping drive change. She advocates for the role of the pharmacists, for patient safety and for the future of pharmacy.

How did you start your career?

When I graduated, I started with a residency at McMaster University Medical Centre. I loved hospital pharmacy, as it was very clinically oriented. It was a great learning experience during a time when the school of medicine was growing and becoming the leader in evidence-based medicine. I then decided to try community pharmacy and took a position with Shoppers Drug Mart.

When did you move to Dell Pharmacies?

In 1989, I made the transition to Dell, and I felt I had found my true home. Dell Pharmacies was a locally owned chain in the Hamilton, Ontario area. I began as a staff pharmacist, then moved on to become a manager, a shareholder, a board member and ultimately the chair of the board of directors. Dell was an incredible place to develop my career, as there was a strong culture of pharmacist engagement and constantly pushing our practice forward.

Why were you involved in so many pharmacy organizations?

Committee work has always been a large component of my career, which has allowed me to meet so many excellent people. It is through this work that I had a forum to discuss challenges in our profession and participate in offering solutions to barriers. It has also allowed me to contribute to the future of the profession. Pharmacy is in a major transition and I want to be part of this change. The volunteer work through regulators, associations and external committees is fulfilling and rewarding.

What continues to drive you?

I have passion for the profession and for being a pharmacist. We are frontline primary care providers triaging many patients daily determining the right course of action or treatment. This reduces the utilization of other healthcare services and overall cost. Pharmacists have a story that needs to be told; we are medication experts and knowledgeable professionals who provide real-time, accessible healthcare every day.

What happened after you left Dell?

Dell Pharmacies was sold to a national chain in 2012. Because I had worked in hospital and community pharmacy, I decided to practise in the Hamilton Family Health Team as a primary care clinical pharmacist. In addition, I also began offering services as a pharmacist consultant. This has been a wonderful journey into phase 3 of my career!

Do you feel there is a glass ceiling for women in pharmacy?

With the large number of women in our profession, we are fortunate to have strong and inspirational women leaders in every pharmacy corporation and pharmacy organization in Canada. Ultimately, I am hopeful that their vision, drive and leadership skills will be recognized so that many more will become CEOs.

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