The association’s board also said it would conduct a search for a permanent successor to president and CEO Denise Carpenter, who left the organization on May 24.
Bates said he has expressed interest in filling the role on a permanent basis. He has been with the association since 2006, when he joined as director of e-health. In 2012 he was named vice president of pharmacy affairs.
Bates came to the association with a background in private insurance, working with a variety of third-party administrators.
“The No. 1 goal is to create value for members and demonstrate how, in a unified fashion, pharmacy can work with all external stakeholders to grow the business,” Bates said in an interview. He also aims to solidify the association’s standing as “a strong advocate for the business of pharmacy in Canada.”
Bates said he aims to sustain the association’s ongoing efforts to expand opportunities for pharmacists to apply their expertise in medications and medication management and in making gains in the area of reimbursements. The association and its members have been coping with a nationwide compression in the reimbursement for generic drugs.
Additionally, Bates said he wants to strengthen the industry’s government relations in all provinces and expand the pharmacy retail presence in Quebec, a province sufficiently unique in key aspects to warrant its own pharmacy business strategy.
Neighbourhood Pharmacies chairman Vivek Sood issued a statement welcoming Bates to his new position and promising that the board would “connect with our members and corporate partners in the upcoming weeks to gather their views on proper alignment and services across the country and to ensure that our members remain the association’s top priority.” The statement also thanked Carpenter for her contributions to the association.
Neighbourhood Pharmacies represents the operators of Canada’s 6,500 chain, banner and franchise community pharmacies as well as supermarket retailers and other mass merchandisers with pharmacies.