Ontario's Community Pharmacies Coalition Call on Minister Matthews to Fulfill
Commitment to Come Back to Negotiating Table

TORONTO, May 13 /CNW/ - The Ontario's Community Pharmacies Coalition has written and submitted the following letter to Minister Deb Matthews. The letter, issued earlier today, calls on the Minister to fulfill her promise of coming back to the negotiating table prior the proposed amendments to Bill 16 are scheduled to come into effect, on May 15th. Cuts that effectively result in massive front-line healthcare cuts to community pharmacy across Ontario:

Letter Begins:

    May 13, 2010

    Honourable Deb Matthews,
    Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
    10th Floor, Hepburn Block
    80 Grosvenor St.
    Toronto, ON M7A 2C4
    by facsimile 416-326-1571

    Dear Minister Matthews,

    On Thursday, May 6th representatives of OPA, CACDS and IPO participated in
a meeting with representatives from your Ministry, including Ms. Lowe, Mr.
Rafi, and Mr. Fraser, to discuss options going forward towards a common
solution for pharmacists, pharmacy owners and the government to maintain and
grow the health care provided by community pharmacists.
    We felt this was a positive meeting with representatives from your
Ministry. There seemed to be general agreement about the need for a sound
transition plan to a new service and funding model. The Coalition indicated
that we would be submitting our ideas for such a transition plan with our
comments on the proposed amendments to regulations under ODBA and DIDFA, and
we look forward to further discussions with the Ministry on the matter.
    During discussions, representatives of your Ministry committed to
providing feedback to the Coalition representatives, on the recommendations we
discussed, by Tuesday, May 11th. Unfortunately, we have not yet received a
formal response on this matter from you or the Ministry.
    Minister, by way of this letter, we respectfully ask you to provide the
promised response and to kindly advise of your planned actions related to your
publicly stated intention of entering into meaningful dialogue with
pharmacists prior to May 15th, when your proposed amendments to Bill 16 are
scheduled to come into effect.
    We were pleased to hear you say last week that you were eager to speak
with pharmacists and talk specifically about what compensation models for
pharmacists will be. Members of the Ontario's Community Pharmacies Coalition
wish to meet with you, and to discuss with you solutions that will build a
positive future for this profession and the business that supports it, in a
way that will preserve and enhance front-line healthcare for the people of
    Minister, we would greatly appreciate a response from you on the

    1.  Do you intend on entering into dialogue with pharmacists prior to May

    2.  Will you or your Ministry follow through on your commitment and
        provide a response to the recommendations provided by pharmacists on
        Thursday, May 6th, 2010. If so, can you indicate when and how you
        will be providing feedback?

    Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you and
beginning this important work together.


    Dennis Darby, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association
    Nadine Saby, President & CEO of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug
    Ben Shenouda, RPh, BScPhm, Chair, Independent Pharmacist of Ontario


Letter Ends

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 Association of Ontario, the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Ontario Chain Drug Association.


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

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