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April 19, 2011
The changing landscape in Pharmacy

A sold-out crowd came out to Pfizer’s head office last April 19 to hear Mark Dickson, a pharmacist and former pharmacy owner, and leader of the Pharmacy Innovation team at Pharmasave Drugs, a cooperative of independent pharmacy owners. Mark has also served as the Chair of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) since October 2009.

According to Mr. Dickson, the role of pharmacists is evolving: from “rolling out” pills 100 years ago, today pharmacists are increasingly playing a much larger role in ensuring quality use of medications in Canada.

As he stated, the current distribution model with indirect funding is crumbling and a patient-centred service model is emerging. Also, in a growing effort to reduce costs, reference-based pricing and therapeutic substitution will soon become a reality. This shift from branded to generics is due in large part to the growing demand of medications and increasing healthcare costs incurred by our aging population.

What does this mean for pharma?

  • Economic and practice models are changing, and pharmacists, physicians, industry and government will need to work together as they share the responsibility of ensuring Canadians get the most access to medications to meet their needs.
  • Within a single source market, pharma will need to ask: “Is this therapy “optimal” for patient AND financial outcomes? Does my product have a measurable benefit? If so, you can ask a premium for it and the pharmacist can help support you and sell this product.
  • As patients increasingly want to be part of the decision-making process, opportunities for industry to partner with pharmacists will include patient education on specific product benefits, ways to reduce side effects and improve convenience, as well as treatment adherence programs.
  • Industry will be encouraged to support change with new and existing tools and relationships as pharmacists moving forward will have increasing influence in reference-based pricing programs and special authority (but this will only happen when pharmacists are paid for the work).

Mr. Dickson closed his presentation by reminding us that the community pharmacy is central to sustainable healthcare and that a change in culture is essential to establish appropriate partnerships and to help in the development of a new role for pharmacists.

If you would like to read more on managing pharmaceutical expenditure, check out the article by Paul Grootendorst and Aidan Hollis below.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Supporting Care Partners

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