Pharmacy U

Pharmacists at Pharmacy U Vancouver engage and enjoy


More than 400 delegates gathered at the third annual Pharmacy U Vancouver conference recently to learn and share with some of the industry’s experts and leading pharmacists.

By Lawrence Herzog

“It was very helpful to connect with other business owners, network with my peers, and discover better ways to deliver services,” says Easton Lee, pharmacy manager at London Drugs in Maple Ridge, BC. “It’s amazing how much you can learn from each other and then take back to your store.”

This year’s conference offered up a diverse selection of 18 technical and business-focused CCCEP-accredited presentations, interactive workshops, and panel discussions aimed at giving participants tools and ways to improve their practices. Among them were sessions on key tips for owning a pharmacy, developing valuable patient care services, practical tips for managing retail pharmacies, making clinical decisions with confidence, and finding ways to improve medication adherence.

Christine Hoffman, pharmacist at Save-On Foods in Winfield, BC, attended the conference two years ago, and says she has made good use of the knowledge gained. “I started a new practice last year being a clinical pharmacist and offering med reviews, and what I learned last time has helped give me confidence. When we show care for the patient, then we get loyalty from them, and we do a better job.”

Focusing on patients to succeed
Delivery of patient-focused care by improving clinical and business practices was a theme that ran through the sessions at the conference. So, too, were ways that pharmacists can maximize their existing scope of practice and expand services to meet the challenges in an ever more competitive marketplace.

“Surround yourself with people who can give you assistance and advice along the way,” recommended Mike Jaczko, a pharmacist by background and portfolio manager for K.J. Harrison & Partners, in his session called Open for Business. “Experience is ultimately the best educator, and advisors can help you to manage risk.”

Nicholas Chau, pharmacist at Centric Health in Richmond, BC, is thinking about ownership, and returned to the conference looking for insights. “I’ve been running a new start-up pharmacy for the last year, building a customer base, and looking to the future. The session on financing and buying versus building was very helpful.”

For Adriel Chan, a third-year pharmacy student at UBC, the conference offered a different perspective from all the clinical instruction. “We haven’t been exposed much to the business aspect of pharmacy, so getting some of that at PharmacyU is definitely helpful. I came last year, too, and got a lot out of the experience as it helped broaden my perspective.”

Work is already underway planning for the 2016 Pharmacy U Vancouver on Saturday, November 5th. Stay tuned! Visit for more information and to register.