Developing innovative solutions to help pharmacists grow their business is central to the work Trent Lane is doing. He is also actively engaged in government relations, expanded scope of practice, change management, and more. “It is essential to move forward and take advantage of opportunities,” says Trent, who has been with Pharmasave since 2013.
Education: University of Saskatchewan (Pharmacy)
Current role: National Director Pharmacy Innovation, Pharmasave Drugs (National) Ltd., Vancouver
How would you describe the pharmacy landscape in Canada to pharmacy students today? What do you think would surprise them the most?
More than ever before, now is a great time to be in pharmacy. When I graduated, there was an emphasis on pharmaceutical care. Today’s pharmacy graduates are fortunate that they can apply their knowledge in many different ways and get paid for a variety of patient care services. Of course, the chief goal is to assist and benefit patients. There are more opportunities in this current environment to help and to make a difference. Some pharmacists take the ball and run with it. Many pharmacists, however, recognize the need for change, but are not sure what to do next. New graduates with fresh ideas and a strong commitment to partnerships can help change that.
As a leader in pharmacy, what continues to drive you?
We need better utilization of staff. For example, pharmacy technicians can take on additional responsibilities, freeing more time for pharmacists to spend counselling patients. However, some pharmacists want expanded scope, but are reluctant to let go of their traditional role. We can’t have both. We will need to delegate some of our current responsibilities to embrace new and evolving opportunities. These include playing an important role in emerging and important areas like women’s health, diabetes education, and pain management.
Are partnerships central to the work pharmacists do in these changing times?
Absolutely. Now, as our population ages, there is more demand for pharmacists to provide healthcare services. Partnerships facilitate the provision of these services and the effectiveness of our healthcare system. Patients will also demand more partnerships if they see the value in them. In future, technicians will take on more of a dispensing role and pharmacists will have an increasingly consultative role. By 2025, it’s predicted that most diagnoses by physicians won’t be done in the doctor’s office. As our way of working is transformed, partnerships with other healthcare professionals will be critical.
How do strong partnerships in these changing times help advance the work of pharmacy?
As the profession evolves and our scope of practice expands, it is important to have strong relationships with other healthcare professionals, government and third-party payers. Together we can help patients access healthcare services and ensure they are available when needed.
What more can pharmacists do to make partnerships central to the way they work?
Many people, including physicians, may not understand what pharmacists can do. By interacting with doctors in their community, pharmacists can demonstrate how they can help. Doctors are busy and if they understand how you can assist them and their patients, they will take advantage of your services. A big challenge for pharmacists is that they are often not natural salespeople and find it difficult to do. Get out there and make people aware of who you are and what you can do.
Leaders in Pharmacy, including this independently written article, is supported by Pfizer Canada.