New Ontario study quantifies costs of community pharmacy services



    
    Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores and Ontario Pharmacists'
    Association highlight need for new engagement with government to address
    funding issues
    

    TORONTO, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores
in partnership with the Ontario Pharmacists' Association today announced
findings from a province-wide study on the costs of community pharmacy
services in a speech presented to the Economic Club of Toronto by CACDS
President and CEO, Nadine Saby.
    The independent study of 505 community pharmacies found the median cost
to provide dispensing and related pharmacy services was $13.77 per
prescription. The estimated average payment to pharmacies for these services,
however is far less - approximately $8.70 and declining. The study was
conducted by MENTORx, a consulting firm specializing in community
pharmacy-based research and evaluation projects, to assess the operating costs
incurred by Ontario community pharmacies to dispense prescription drugs and
deliver related pharmacy services to patients.
    The findings are almost identical to those found in the 2007
Activity-Based Costing Study in British Columbia, showing the real cost to
provide pharmacy services in that province was $13.60. The current maximum
allowable fee payable to pharmacies by the B.C. government for the services is
$8.60.
    "We need to work closely with government to find the innovative and
alternative solutions that will ensure the sustainability of patient care and
community pharmacy in Canada," said Nadine Saby, President and CEO, CACDS.
"Investing in community pharmacy care will not only improve the health and
well-being of Canadians, but reduce overall health care costs."
    Community pharmacy and government need to work collaboratively on a new
model - one that strikes a balance for patients, governments, pharmacy and
industry stakeholders; closes the gap in compensation for pharmacy services;
and fully incorporates the skills and capabilities of pharmacy to manage
health care costs and improve health outcomes.
    "Community pharmacists have enormous potential to provide an even broader
range of much needed services to improve the health of patients," said Dennis
Darby, Chief Executive Officer, OPA. "We need to ensure pharmacists have the
resources they need to be able to provide these services. These studies
provide the data needed to inform discussion about costs and reimbursement."
    In Canada, more than three million patient-pharmacist interactions take
place every day. Community pharmacists are considered the most accessible of
all primary health care practitioners, they assist patients with complicated
medication regimes, monitor for drug interactions and provide chronic disease
prevention and management services in collaboration with caregivers,
physicians and other health care providers.
    For more information, and study results, please visit, www.cacds.ca or
www.opatoday.com

    About CACDS

    CACDS is the national voice of community chain pharmacy in Canada. The
members of CACDS are traditional chain and banner drug stores, grocery chains
and mass merchandisers with pharmacies. Together, CACDS members operate 6,000
pharmacies that dispense 78 per cent of the nation's prescriptions each year.
CACDS members employ more than 100,000 Canadians, including 80 per cent of the
pharmacists in Canada practicing in community. CACDS was founded in 1995.

    About OPA

    The Ontario Pharmacists' Association (OPA) is the professional
association representing the views and interests, and advocates for over
10,000 practicing pharmacists and pharmacists-in-training in Ontario. For more
information, visit www.opatoday.com.




For further information:

For further information: Sara Feldman, Communications, Canadian
Association of Chain Drug Stores, (416) 226-9100 ext. 225; Or Deborah
McNorgan, Ontario Pharmacists' Association, Tel: (416) 441-0788 ext. 4266,
Cell: (416) 523-3446, dmcnorgan@opatoday.com


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