Inside This Issue - News
Pharmasave’s Paish: Rx needs to stand up
January 3rd, 2011
by Alistair McKichan
TORONTO – A relative newcomer to the community pharmacy world has challenged the industry to take a different tack in addressing the issues confronting it.
Speaking at a recent forum sponsored by the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy, Sue Paish, a former managing partner of a Vancouver-based international law firm who was appointed chief executive officer of Pharmasave in 2007, encouraged community pharmacy to fully exploit its unique position of being in the “front line of accessible health service delivery.”
She chastised the sector for being complacent and its failing to maintain a close and constructive dialogue with regulators.
Pharmacies did not recognize the likely effects of pressures on health care budgets, she said.
“Now,” Paish suggested, “our platform is on fire” as a result of demographic pressures, economic instability, unsustainable public and private health care expenditures and a hypercompetitive market.
It is inevitable, she said, that health care expenditures, which have been increasing at 4% to 7% a year, will have to be slowed to between the 1% and 2%.
“Society has to create a culture of responsibility among Canadians,” she said. “They can no longer take the attitude: ‘Here I am, I am sick, cure me.”
In this environment, Paish said, pharmacy leadership should be asking: How can pharmacy position itself to help public policy achieve better and affordable outcomes?
She suggested that if community pharmacy succeeds in finding the right answers, appropriate funding will follow.
It would be advantageous, Paish said, if the sector could convince governments that pharmacy funding should come from their broader health services budgets.