The release on November 1 of Neighbourhood Pharmacies’ 900 Day Strategic Plan clarifies and refines the mission, structure and vision for the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies). It represents not simply a change in the association’s focus, but a renewal and enhancement of the organization’s strategic orientation.
The release of the 900 Day Strategic Plan follows on the heels of a very successful Executive Summit on October 27 and 28. The summit was the first phase of a multi-phase initiative, outlined in the plan, to arrive at a national pharmacy reimbursement framework intended to promote pharmacy growth and also meet the needs of public and private payers.
At the summit, Vivek Sood, chair of Neighbourhood Pharmacies, reminded delegates, “Pharmaceuticals and provision of pharmacy services represent the third-largest cost envelope in Canada’s healthcare system, and healthcare accounts for 40% of total provincial expenditures. The need to demonstrate value for money spent has never been more pressing.”
The development of the new plan has taken stock of the association’s current capabilities, identified where opportunities exist to place Neighbourhood Pharmacies in a strong leadership role among the broader pharmacy community, and has determined the six critical success factors vital to ensure the long-term sustainability of its members and their business models, including prescription pharmaceuticals, OTC/front shop products in retail pharmacies, specialty pharmacy and long-term care, and the provision of an ever-increasing range of patient care services.
These six success factors are: effective governance; financial sustainability; a productive staff complement; the leveraging of external expertise to support strategic priorities; internal performance measurements and accountability; and engaged participants, including members, corporate partners, associates and stakeholders.
The broader pharmacy and pharmaceutical ecosystem is a dynamic and challenging environment, with a number of organizations advocating for pharmacy. Commenting on this issue, the CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacies, Justin J. Bates, said, “It is essential that Neighbourhood Pharmacies take on the mantle of leadership in advocating for the business of pharmacy, while continuing to achieve greater alignment with other pharmacy associations. It is therefore critical that we strive to arrive at a consensus on a modernized reimbursement model for Canadian pharmacies that reflects the realities of today’s healthcare environment of promoting better patient health outcomes and health system sustainability.”
The successful execution of the plan will mean increased levels of trust, respect and influence for pharmacy in public policy development. But Neighbourhood Pharmacies and its members will never lose sight of its core mission, to serve the public with the highest level of pharmaceutical and other services, so that all Canadians can continue to have full confidence in their neighbourhood pharmacies as fully integrated healthcare providers.