Ontario Pharmacists' Association voices concerns over province's drug system

TORONTO, June 8 /CNW/ - The Ontario Pharmacists' Association today expressed concerns and disappointment with the Ontario government's announcement that it is moving ahead with regulatory changes that will significantly reduce support to Ontario pharmacists and their patients.

On Monday, June 7, the government announced it has finalized plans to lower generic drug prices and eliminate professional allowances, while reinvesting some money in pharmacists' services. The changes are to start taking effect July 1.

"We are extremely disappointed that the government did not choose to invest more in pharmacy, or provide the support to help pharmacists deal with these unprecedented changes to funding," said Dean Miller, Chair of the Board of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association. "What the government is providing in return is clearly insufficient, and more investment is necessary to help pharmacists deliver the care that patients need."

Miller said pharmacists will be forced to make some difficult choices as they evaluate the level of care they will be able to provide moving forward. There are concerns that patients may experience reductions in clinic services and pharmacy hours, and direct access to pharmacists may be limited.

"These changes will affect everyone in community pharmacy - owners and staff alike - but will be particularly hard on independent pharmacists and their patients," Miller said.

The Ontario Pharmacists' Association will continue to press the government to provide more support for uninsured pharmacy services - those that pharmacists provide today, as well as the new services that will be possible under Bill 179's increased professional scope of practice.

About the Ontario Pharmacists' Association

The Ontario Pharmacists' Association is the professional association that represents the views and interests of more than 11,000 pharmacists and pharmacists-in-training across the province. The Association works to inspire excellence in the profession and practice of pharmacy, and to promote wellness for patients.

SOURCE Ontario Pharmacists' Association

For further information: For further information: please contact Deborah McNorgan at (416) 523-3446 ext. 4266, (416) 523-3446 or Lindsay George at (416) 441-0788 ext. 4236

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