Customers of both Medavie Blue Cross and Independent Pharmacy - Primary
Beneficiaries of new 2 year Contract

ST. JOHN'S, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - The Council of Independent Community Pharmacy Owners and Medavie Blue Cross are pleased to advise their customers that a new 2 year contract has been ratified and will begin April of this year.

"Our members are satisfied that the viability of the rural and neighbourhood pharmacy has been assured - which is fundamental to the customers we serve and have served for decades", says Phil O'Keefe, Director of Third Party Relations, CICPO. O'Keefe adds, "The one size fits all contract does not work with our geography or demographics and it's great to see that Medavie Blue Cross recognizes the difference between our pharmacies and that of mass pharmacy retailers and multi-national corporations."

"While we don't discuss the details of any contract we can assure our customers that the principles - behind the new payment schedule of ensuring a sustainable drug program for our customers - were kept; while recognizing the distinct value the Independent Pharmacies provide to the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador, says Sr. Vice President of Medavie Blue Cross, Laurier Fecteau.

The two-year agreement deals with a wide range of issues from reimbursement to administration. "This contract has resolved some longstanding concerns and will be a catalyst for ongoing communication instead of the once every few years correspondence that has been the norm", states CICPO's O'Keefe.

O'Keefe adds, "These particulars recognize the personal service our members give their customers and ensures that our professionals can dedicate their time to their customers and the communities they serve."

"We recognize that rural and neighbourhood independents have a unique value proposition to their customers, as well as a different cost structure compared with large, national retail chains. This contract recognizes the importance of rural and independent pharmacies to Medavie Blue Cross customers," adds Fecteau.

The Council represents the majority of independent pharmacies throughout Newfoundland and Labrador serving all regions and in particular inner-city neighbourhoods and rural towns.

"This is a precedent setting contract where independents and insurers get down to business minus the influence of the large corporate chains that have a completely different business agenda and thousands of shareholders to satisfy", concludes O'Keefe.

SOURCE COUNCIL OF INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY PHARMACY OWNERS

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Phil O'Keefe, Director of Third Party Relations, CICPO, (709) 488-3390 (o), (709) 693-4925 (c); Kelley Ryder, Manager, Communications, Medavie Blue Cross, (902) 496-8410


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