9,000 Points of Care effort identifies specific actions to save governments $8.5 billion to $11 billion over three years.
TORONTO, April 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Thought leaders from Canada's broader pharmacy community today launched a detailed action plan to improve the healthcare system for Canadians. The urgent need to reduce costs, along with clear opportunities to help improve the care and experience provided to Canadian patients, brought the broader pharmacy community together for the first time in the development of 9,000 Points of Care: Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare.
Speaking as part of a panel discussion representing the broader pharmacy community, Domenic Pilla, President and CEO, Shoppers Drug Mart, Frank Scorpiniti, CEO, Rexall Pharma Plus, and Jeff Watson President, Apotex Corporation, underscored many of the key recommendations within the 9,000 Points of Care action plan, whose name is inspired by the more than 9,000 community pharmacies across Canada. The plan outlines five creative initiatives that, based on estimates independently validated by the Conference Board of Canada, could save governments between $8.5 billion and $11 billion over three years.
"Through this effort, we have identified billions of dollars in healthcare savings that can be achieved through public policy changes alone," said Pilla. "The opportunities identified will ultimately help to improve patient outcomes and the patient experience."
Describing the benefits of increasing pharmacists' scope of practice - as has been done in other jurisdictions - Watson emphasized the high-impact, low-cost benefits of this specific opportunity.
"Let's let pharmacists do what they've been trained to do," said Watson. "Allowing pharmacists to prescribe medications for minor ailments and administer vaccines gets people the help they need faster, and frees up emergency rooms and doctors' offices for those who need them."
A key next step proposed by Canada's broader pharmacy community is to work with government and the health system on implementation.
"The big idea here isn't that there is a report, but that there are tangible actions that can be taken now," said Scorpiniti. "This effort isn't about more studies or more information gathering. The information has already been gathered - and Canada's broader pharmacy community is ready to work with government and other key health system stakeholders to implement these important initiatives."
About the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS)
CACDS is the national association representing community pharmacy in Canada. The retail members of CACDS operate almost 6,000 traditional chain and banner drug stores, and grocery and mass merchandisers with pharmacies. Associate members include all categories of product and service suppliers to the pharmacy sector. Visit CACDS online at www.cacds.com.
About the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)
The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) represents Canada's generic pharmaceutical industry. The industry plays an important role in controlling healthcare costs in Canada. Generic drugs are dispensed to more than 63 per cent of all prescriptions but account for only 24 percent of the $22 billion Canadians spend annually on prescription medicines. Generic prescription drugs account for less than three percent of healthcare spending in Canada.
SOURCE: Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores
For further information:
CACDS, Vice President, Public Affairs
CGPA, Vice President, Corporate Affairs
For more information please view our website at www.9000pointsofcare.com