Community Pharmacies Focused on Continuity of Care

Industry and Government collaboration the best path to ensure successful savings and high quality patient care

TORONTO, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's community pharmacies expressed cautious optimism in response to the Government of New Brunswick's budget announcement and its impact on pharmacy services and patient care.

"The Government of New Brunswick's plan to reduce the reimbursed price of generic drugs from 35% to 25% will create pressures on the pharmacy model and patient services" said Denise Carpenter, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS). "As we work through the realities of this change, we are encouraged by the Government's approach to partnering with community pharmacy and pharmacists to identify the best path forward. Announced increases in the dispensing fee paid to pharmacy, along with other pharmacy related initiatives are a clear acknowledgement of the important role that pharmacy and pharmacist play in the provision of care. It also speaks to the complicated funding environment in which we operate and the need for funding stability. We look forward to being a full partner in designing how best to enhance patient care and identify responsible budget savings."

As part of the government's 2013 budget, Finance Minister Blaine Higgs announced that the price of generic drugs will be reduced to 25% of brand price effective June 1, 2013. Additionally, the dispensing fees paid to pharmacies will be adjusted to specify frequency of dispensing timelines for various pharmaceuticals. Together, these changes result in the budget for the prescription drug program to decrease by 1.95%.

"Announced increases in the dispensing fees paid to pharmacies, along with other provincial initiatives will provide some stability to community pharmacy and pharmacists. We will work with government to identify how best we use these funds to mitigate impacts and provide the continuity of care and service our patients and customers expect" continued Carpenter.

Canada's community pharmacies have been working with various provincial governments, and officials through the Council of the Federation to put forward ideas that drive savings in the hundreds of millions in the next 3 years and billions of dollars in savings over the long term.

These initiatives include helping pharmacist practice to their full scope and provide much needed patient care like helping Canadians manage chronic illness and get prescriptions for acute conditions;  making better use of affordable generic medications; and leveraging the sophistication and security of Canadians pharmaceutical distribution model.

Together, Canada's community pharmacies offer over 9,000 points of care making them the most convenient, accessible, and low cost patient care environment in Canada.

"The number one priority for Canada's community pharmacies continues to be enhancing the patient experience and protecting the accessibility and unmatched availability of pharmacy services in the urban, rural, and remote communities we serve. As health care leaders, we recognize governments' desire for transformation in the delivery of patient care. We look forward to working with the Government of New Brunswick to ensure that this transformation happens in a thoughtful, measured, and strategic way; one that protects patient choice and the patient experience" concluded Carpenter.


SOURCE: Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores

For further information:

or to schedule an interview, contact:

Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS)
David Simmonds   |   Vice President, Public Affairs
T: 416-226-9100 ext. 232; E:  dsimmonds@cacds.com

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