The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance agreement – better drug prices could create opportunity for improved healthcare in Nova Scotia
Pharmacists across Nova Scotia are calling the announcement made today by the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) on a new generic drug price framework another financial blow to pharmacy. However, it could also create the opportunity to provide greater access to health care for Nova Scotians by supporting the Government of Nova Scotia in investing in much needed pharmacy services.
This new agreement will generate approximately $3 billion in savings for governments across Canada. Governments should ensure they use these savings to improve health care. In Nova Scotia, we have a significant physician shortage but there are other willing and able providers who are here right now, willing and able to help. By investing in pharmacy services, such as minor ailments assessments and prescribing, vaccinations, prescription renewals, and chronic disease management services, the Government can make immediate improvements to health care access across this province.
“Pharmacists in Nova Scotia are ready, willing and able to help alleviate some of the health care stresses that exist in this province due to the physician shortage,” said Rose Dipchand, Chair of the Board of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. “With 305 pharmacies and 1,500 pharmacists in almost every community in Nova Scotia, we are this province’s most accessible health care provider and we can help.”
Since legislative and regulatory changes eight years ago, pharmacists have provided an increased level of care to Nova Scotians. Every day, pharmacies provide significant value to the health care system and provide efficient and high-quality services to patients. But pharmacists could be doing even more.
“This new pricing framework is an opportunity for Nova Scotia to make investments into frontline services offered by pharmacies,” said Allison Bodnar, CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. “Studies show that when pharmacists provide services, such as chronic disease management, they can significantly improve patient health while decreasing costs to the health care system. Investing in pharmacy means pharmacies will be able to provide these much-needed services.”
“The success pharmacy has had providing the publicly funded flu shot in helping to increase the province’s immunization rate, is just one example of how pharmacists can help our over-burdened health care system,” said Ms. Dipchand. “Just think what we could do with more government funded services. Pharmacists want to help. Use us.”
Pharmacists are working to tackle some of the most pressing health challenges from the urgency of the opioid crisis, to increasing access to home care, mental health services and vaccines. By continuing to grow our partnership with the provincial government, pharmacy could become a key point for patients to access the health care system and help all Nova Scotians live healthier lives.
About the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia
The Pharmacy Association (PANS) is the voice of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Nova Scotia. Its mission is to support the professional and economic interests of its members to advance the practice of pharmacy and improve the health of Nova Scotians.
More information is available at pans.ns.ca.
Source: Media Release