Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada Looks Forward to Working with the Ontario Government on Ensuring a Successful Launch for Universal Access to Medications for Children and Youth

TORONTO, April 28, 2017 /CNW/ - The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) welcomes the opportunity to work with the Ontario government on implementing the universal drug coverage for Ontario's children and youth, 24 years of age and under, effective January 1, 2018. Neighbourhood Pharmacies urges the Ontario government to consider further expanding the role pharmacy can play in the lives of all Ontarians to complement the access to affordable medications. Pharmacies are uniquely positioned to manage patient care and increase access to frontline healthcare services. While today's move to increase access to pharmaceuticals for children and youth is a laudable objective, when and where patients need them, we must also recognize the benefits of leveraging the over 4,000 Ontario pharmacies as healthcare hubs in the community. Ontario pharmacies, which provide vital patient centric services like patient counselling, maintaining and checking patient medication records, and providing drug information to doctors, are an important part of the consultation process to ensure a smooth rollout of this new program.

Neighbourhood Pharmacies' goal is to engage stakeholders in a national dialogue on universal drug coverage to ensure the use of the full spectrum of pharmacies' capacity, and to enhance the sustainability of Canada's healthcare system through expanded pharmacy services for current and future generations.

Justin J. Bates, CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacies said, "We see the value in the government's approach on increasing access to affordable medications by covering prescription drugs for children and youth. Pharmacy is an important partner in healthcare and we are hopeful to continue to collaborate with the Ontario government for a successful launch of OHIP+ and, at same time, explore new opportunities to improve patient care and access to health services by leveraging the highly accessible pharmacies throughout the province."

Neighbourhood Pharmacies is encouraged by the Ontario government's commitment to increase the healthcare investments by $11.5B over the next three years. Patient access and care for frontline health services can be better delivered by pharmacies for services like common ailments prescribing, point of care testing and advance medication assessments; which pharmacies and pharmacists are ready to play an important role. We look forward to working with the Ontario government on these new opportunities to provide Ontarians with more healthcare options where they live, work and play.

About the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada:

The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada represents the business of pharmacy and advocates for Canada's leading pharmacy brands who deliver high value, quality care to Canadians in all models including chain, banner, long-term care, and specialty pharmacies as well as grocery chains and mass merchandisers with pharmacies.  Our focus is on improving the delivery of care environment for pharmacy, while fostering the right business conditions for business success.  By leveraging the over 10,000 points of care with pharmacies conveniently located in every neighbourhood across Canada, we aim to advance sustainable healthcare for all stakeholders.

SOURCE Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada

For further information: Anthony Silva, Chief Operating Officer/Senior Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada,, 416-226-9100 x 4005


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