Media Advisory: Ontario's Community Pharmacies Call on Minister of Health to
Explain Low Brow Tactics

TORONTO, April 26 /CNW/ - The Ontario Pharmacists' Association, the Independent Pharmacists of Ontario, and the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, independently and jointly today call upon the Minister of Health to explain how publishing brochures that malign pharmacists is an invitation to constructive dialogue.

"Premier McGuinty and Minister Deb Matthews say they want a constructive dialogue with pharmacists yet they continue to refuse to invite all pharmacists to the table together and are now engaging in political smear tactics," said Ben Shenouda, President of the Independent Pharmacists Association of Ontario.

Surveillance camera footage has revealed what are presumed to be Ontario government employees stuffing racks reserved for health information with political propaganda. These unauthorized materials, marked "Ontario Liberal Caucus", were dropped into pharmacies without notice or permission across the Greater Toronto Area.

This is in addition to last week's secretly leaked emails that reveal the government's plans to persuade the public that less healthcare is for their own good.

Pharmacists are extremely disappointed by this behaviour. They believe these actions are not indicative of a government who is willing, or remotely interested, in negotiating to save front-line healthcare for Ontarians.

"These latest actions clearly demonstrate that the government is not interested in a transparent consultation process or having any two-way discussions with our patients - they are only interested in trying to persuade the public that less healthcare is for their own good," said Mr. Shenouda.

Last week, Ontario's Community Pharmacies called 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 healthcare that pharmacists deliver.

There has been no response.

Pharmacists have also invited the Minister of Health back to the negotiating table.

Pharmacists are still waiting for a response from the Minister.

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.


For further information: For further information: or to schedule an interview please call: Ontario's Community Pharmacies Coalition Media Hotline at (416) 226-9100 x202

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