Ontario's Community Pharmacies Backgrounder

TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ -


    -   The McGuinty Government is slashing $750M out of front-line health

    -   These cuts will represent significant changes to pharmacy and front
        line health care - it will mean reduced hours of operation, less
        patient services, like one-on-one consultations and in some cases,
        store closures.

    -   Pharmacists are not against lower drug costs - provided it doesn't
        threaten the front-line pharmacy and health care services Ontarians
        have come to rely on and deserve.

    -   Pharmacists were negotiating with the government in good faith, for
        9 months and they came close to finding a solution - a solution that
        would have saved the government hundreds of millions of dollars and
        not have front-line health care services compromised.

    -   The government has chronically underfunded pharmacy for decades, and
        many of the services they provide are not compensated. Dispensing
        fees have only been raised 56 cents in 20 years.

    -   Professional allowances were designed by the Ontario government -
        they are audited, regulated and supervised forms of payment to
        pharmacy that government is now seeking to eliminate and not put
        adequate funding back in.

    -   There has been a 4% increase in the number of pharmacies in Ontario
        in the last 3 years. During the same period the prescription volume
        has increased by 15% - more than 3 times the increase in pharmacy


For further information: For further information: Ontario's Community Pharmacies Coalition Media Hotline, (416) 226-9100 x202

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