TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 11, 2012) - The Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) applauds Premier Dalton McGuinty, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews and the Ontario government for taking action to improve the health of Ontarians by announcing that pharmacies will offer a number of new enhanced healthcare services.
"Through expanding the scope of pharmacy practice to include delivering flu shots, prescription renewals and smoking cessation therapies, the government is helping patients access the vital care that they need at a location that is close to where they live and work," says CACDS Chair Sandra Aylward. "This is good news for Ontario families and pharmacies alike."
Enhancing the care delivered through community pharmacy will, in addition to helping patients, families and caregivers, also ease stress on the province's healthcare system.
Delivering Influenza Immunizations
"Ontario's immunization rate has traditionally been among the lowest in Canada, resulting in more Ontarians having to miss work, school or interrupt their daily activities. In B.C., where pharmacy has been providing influenza vaccinations for a number of years, nearly 50% of the population is immunized annually," explains Aylward. "This easy, convenient access to flu shots will help Ontarians stay healthier and relieve downstream pressures on other health professionals."
CACDS members representing community pharmacy recognize that implementing and integrating a change of this order into the province's healthcare system is not an easy task.
In addition to passing legislation that enables the delivery of the service by pharmacists, supply chain safety and maintenance, facility preparation, provider education and vaccine distribution were all crucial considerations that had to be resolved to integrate pharmacy into the program.
CACDS will work in partnership with the government to enable the successful implementation of this legislation. It is a significant achievement that approximately 600 pharmacies will start delivering flu shots throughout the province in just a few short weeks. "This is only the first year Ontario pharmacists will be enabled to deliver flu shots, so it's remarkable that so many have stepped up to the plate in such a short amount of time. In years to come we expect many more pharmacies to be providing this service," stated Aylward. "Community pharmacy is eager to demonstrate the value it can provide as an accessible location for patients to receive healthcare services. Flu shots are really just the first step."
CACDS is the national association representing community pharmacy in Canada. In Ontario, the retail members of CACDS operate nearly 2,600 pharmacies and employ over 7,300 pharmacists. CACDS provides its members with a wide range of services including representation of industry viewpoints to governments and stakeholders, authoritative research and partnership initiatives - all in the interest of enhancing the value of community pharmacy to patients and consumers. Visit online at www.cacds.com.