Ontario Pharmacists Call On Health Minister Deb Matthews to Extend
Consultation Period

LONDON, ON, April 22 /CNW/ - Today in London, while speaking with Pharmacists, Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews indicated that she would be willing to return to constructive dialogue with pharmacists during the consultation process.

Ontario's Community Pharmacies are calling on the Minister of Health to extend the public consultation for two weeks and allow for a broader discussion where both parties can find a solution that will lower the cost of generic drugs and not threaten the front-line health care that pharmacists deliver and 13M Ontarians rely on. Pharmacists believe that patients and especially seniors should be able to share their concerns and perspectives on the government's proposed changes.

Ontario's Community Pharmacies thank the Minister for recognizing the complexity of this issue and the need for open, constructive dialogue.

"Ontario's pharmacists want the opportunity to work with the Ontario government to find appropriate savings that they are looking for. This is a complex issue and extending this consultation phase will give all parties enough time to examine the options that are available," said Monica Miatello, a local pharmacist in London.

Right now, the Ontario government is proposing changes that will cut $750 million out of the front-line health care that pharmacists provide to their patients daily. These cuts will represent significant changes to pharmacy and front line health care - it will mean reduced hours of operation, less patient services, like one-on-one consultations and in some cases, store closures.

About Ontario's Community Pharmacies

The Ontario's Community Pharmacies coalition is the unified voice of community pharmacy in Ontario, representing independent owner-operated stores, "banner" groups of independently-owned stores that work together, as well as large and small pharmacy chains. The coalition is supported by the associations and organizations that represent both the profession and the neighbourhood business of pharmacy, including the Ontario Pharmacists' Association, the Independent Pharmacists of Ontario, the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Ontario Chain Drug Association.

SOURCE ONTARIO'S COMMUNITY PHARMACIES

For further information: For further information: Ontario's Community Pharmacies Coalition Media Hotline, (416) 226-9100 x202

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ONTARIO'S COMMUNITY PHARMACIES

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ONTARIO HEALTH CARE

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