Pharmacy U

Advocacy is the name of the game for pharmacists at Pharmacy U Toronto


With an expanding scope of practice, greater competition and advances in technology, pharmacy is becoming an increasingly complicated profession and business.

By Talbot Boggs

Photography by Brandon Gray

If you’re a younger pharmacist thinking about going into business for yourself, do you know the difference between buying and starting a business and where to go for advice and help? If you’re a more seasoned professional, have you ever wondered how you can overcome patient concerns about injection therapies to treat chronic diseases like diabetes? What about integrating travel health services into your practice or empowering your employees to improve performance and business results? If you’re nearing the end of your career, do you have a retirement/succession plan in place?

These and other important issues currently facing the pharmacy industry will be addressed and answered at the fourth annual Pharmacy U Toronto conference on February 7, 2015.

“The goal of this conference is to provide audience members with some highly practical points they can immediately use in their businesses,” says Mike Boivin RPh, BScPhm, president of CommPharm Consulting and a conference presenter. “Canadians take millions of international trips each year, but often they’re not aware of the risks associated with travelling abroad. Making travel a focus in your practice has great potential to grow your business while protecting travellers from your local community.”

All of the presentations in the conference are new to Toronto and fully accredited, providing the opportunity for attendees to receive up to a maximum of 5.5 CE credits.

Pharmacy consultant Wayne Caverly will introduce telepharmacy, the delivery of pharmacy services through teleconferencing and videoconferencing to patients in under-serviced communities or locations who may not have access to a pharmacist.  “Attendees will get a brief overview of the history of telepharmacy and learn what it means, but the bulk of the presentation will show them how to improve business and make better use of their staff and facilities through its use,” says Caverly.

Following the opening session by platinum sponsor Pfizer, which will address the challenging business environment of the new pharmacy paradigm and emerging opportunities for retail pharmacy, conference delegates will be able to choose from a menu of professional and business-related presentations, workshops and networking opportunities.

“Although some pharmacists are fully embracing the increased opportunities and challenges being created by the expanding scope of practice, many others are struggling to integrate them into their practice,” says Dorothy Pardalis BSc.Phm. C.A.E, president and consulting pharmacist with Proactive Health Strategies. “I hope pharmacists will leave feeling more confident to engage in expanded scope practices and realize the significant benefits to patients’ health and quality of life as a result of their interventions.”

The conference again will feature an accredited lunch and learn panel of industry experts who will discuss the evolving industry, overcoming current challenges, and making the most of emerging opportunities for your pharmacy. The day includes numerous opportunities to interact with peers and share experiences and best practices through networking breaks, lunch, supplier displays and a cocktail reception.

Other sessions will reveal the leadership secrets of successful pharmacy owners and operators across North America, the threats and opportunities related to changes in private drug plans, and tips for starting and/or exiting a pharmacy business.

“Young entrepreneurs may not understand the important considerations when starting out on their own, while many current pharmacy owners may find themselves ill prepared and unable to gain full market value for their businesses and end up paying a high rate of income taxes, ” says Mike Jazcko, partner and portfolio manager at K.J. Harrison and Partners. “These workshops will provide the key insights that these two groups of pharmacists need to know, because neither pharmacy ownership nor succession should happen by chance.”