"I Care About My Pharmacist" campaign kicks off to save rural pharmacy in

EDMONTON, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - A campaign to raise awareness and support for Alberta pharmacists kicks off today with full-page ads in major daily newspapers in Edmonton and Calgary.

"I Care About My Pharmacist" targets proposed government cuts announced in Phase 2 of the Alberta Pharmaceutical Strategy. These cuts will lead to lay-offs, fewer pharmacy services, and ultimately some pharmacists being forced to close their doors.

The campaign will raise awareness and help motivate Albertans to show the government they care about the potential impact of these cuts on their health. Albertans are asked to contact the Minister of Health and Wellness directly, to sign a petition at their local pharmacy (distributed to over 900 pharmacies province-wide) or visit www.icareaboutmypharmacist.org to download the petition.

"There is no doubt in my mind that rural Albertans will pay the ultimate price," said Al Hodgins, spokesperson for I Care About My Pharmacist. "The planned government action will result in serious cuts at the community pharmacy level - in staff and services. Cuts that will affect the health care of our patients.

"We believe these cuts will result in fewer pharmacists working in their communities and less time for consulting with the pharmacists that do remain. In the end, pharmacists just won't be able to offer the same level of patient services," continued Hodgins. "These cuts threaten the very viability of pharmacies in rural communities. How can this be good for Albertans?"

Hodgins explained that if the Government of Alberta proceeds with these cuts, rural Albertans will find that many of the services they traditionally receive from their pharmacists, with no appointments and at no cost, will disappear.

"In some rural communities there is only one pharmacy," said Hodgins. "If the cuts from Government threaten the viability of pharmacists operating in that town, it means patients will have to drive long distances to another town to fill their prescription. This is putting the health and welfare of rural Albertans at risk."

The campaign continues this week with ads in rural newspapers across Alberta, radio spots throughout the province, and the launch of a website www.icareaboutmypharmacist.org.


For further information: For further information: Al Hodgins, Spokesperson, I Care About My Pharmacist, 1-888-398-4363, email.info@icareaboutmypharmacist.org, www.icareaboutmypharmacist.org

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