TORONTO, Sept. 5, 2019 /CNW/ - The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) has released its 2019 federal election platform entitled "Expanding Access & Advancing Care." The platform identifies two core issues: ensuring Canadians have access to the medications they need and advancing concerted, multi-pronged solutions to the opioid crisis.
"Health and patient care will always be at the very heart of pharmacies' work," says Sandra Hanna, interim CEO, Neighbourhood Pharmacies. "We encourage government to keep patients at the heart of their decision making, especially where pharmacare and the opioid crisis are concerned."
In the case of pharmacare, Neighbourhood Pharmacies notes that approximately 1.9 million Canadians do not have access to prescription drug coverage, representing 5% of the population, however a single payer model for pharmacare could be quite costly. Neighbourhood Pharmacies supports the more affordable option of a mixed payer model. With a mixed payer model government investment is considerably less, yet it would still bring all uninsured Canadians under a public plan. In their Complete the Plan campaign, Neighbourhood Pharmacies proposes a responsible, made-in-Canada solution to pharmacare that keeps costs down and focuses on people who need it most.
Advancing concerted, multi-pronged solutions to the opioid crisis is Neighbourhood Pharmacies' other core platform issue. This crisis is unlikely to be resolved without cooperation between government and health care providers. "Pharmacies are on the frontlines, yet pharmacists have limited ability to help under current regulations," says Hanna. "Enabling pharmacists to prescribe and deprescribe controlled drugs and substances by including pharmacists as practitioners under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act would provide government a new, community-based tool to support prevention and increase access to Opioid Dependence Treatments."
The platform also touches on the theme of access as it relates to protecting Canadians from drug shortages amid US pressures. Neighbourhood Pharmacies is aligned with and supports recommendations by the Canadian Pharmacists Association calling on Canada's federal political parties to outline an action plan protecting Canadians from drug shortages.
"Many important issues are competing for attention this election," says Hanna. "We remind government to focus on what matters most: making healthy policy choices on behalf of all Canadians."
The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada is the strong voice and advocate for the business of neighbourhood pharmacy and its vital role in sustaining the accessibility, quality and affordability of patient care for Canadians.
SOURCE Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada
For further information: Jennifer Deschenes, Director of Communications & Stakeholder Relations, [email protected], 416.998.1480