OTTAWA, Nov. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is pleased to see important and relevant issues to the pharmacy profession take prominence throughout the ministerial mandate letters sent to Ministers on November 13.
In particular, we look forward to working with Minister Philpott who has been asked to engage the provinces and territories around a new Health Accord, which includes improving access to necessary medications and a commitment to new digital health technology. Also included is a commitment to increase vaccination rates, and work with the Minister of Justice on two issues with significant implications for pharmacists – the legalization and regulation of marijuana and responding to the Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding physician-assisted dying.
"CPhA looks forward to working with the government to leverage the expertise of Canada's 39,000 pharmacists in identifying practical and affordable solutions to our health care challenges, said Carlo Berardi, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association. "As the most accessible health provider in Canada, pharmacists are well placed to address some of the challenges related to sustainability, access, drug safety and quality of care."
Specifically, CPhA has been consulting with its members on three issues highlighted in the mandate letter:
Drug access and affordability
Earlier this year CPhA launched a comprehensive multi-phased consultation to develop a national consensus for a pan-Canadian pharmacare framework. As the national voice of Canadian pharmacists, CPhA is committed to taking a leadership position on the issue of pharmacare to ensure all Canadians have access to pharmacy services and safe and appropriate drug therapies.
Legalization and regulation of marijuana
CPhA is concerned about the health effects of marijuana and cautions the government to act first with the health of Canadians in mind. In addition, the pharmacy community is increasingly concerned about patient safety and clinical oversight regarding the use of medical marijuana. As such, CPhA is currently reviewing its existing policies to ensure its policy position regarding pharmacist dispensing of medical marijuana reflects patient safety in this evolving area.
Recognizing that the Supreme Court Decision in Carter v. Canada has important pharmacy practice implications, CPhA has been working with its members to ensure that Canadian pharmacists views and perspectives are represented in future legislation. A survey conducted by CPhA in October showed that the community sees a vital role for pharmacists but want rights of conscience protected. As such, CPhA participated in the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada consultations to highlight early considerations in the development of legislation as it pertains to pharmacy practice and looks forward to working with the government on this important issue in the coming months.
"We are pleased that the government is poised to tackle these challenges to ensure that Canadian pharmacists and other health care professionals are equipped with the tools to deliver more innovative, accessible and sustainable health care to all Canadians," said Berardi.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Pharmacists Association
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For further information: Mark McCondach, Director of Communications, Canadian Pharmacists Association, [email protected], (613) 523-7877 Ext. 285