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Canadians express confidence in retail pharmacy

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TORONTO — Canadians’ general impression of pharmacy is at a two-year high, according to a Nanos Research survey performed on behalf of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada.

Three-quarters of Canadians hold views of pharmacy that are positive or somewhat positive, according to the survey of 1,000 Canadians conducted between May 27 and June 1.

“I’m particularly pleased that Canadian patients continue to have full confidence in their pharmacies as fully integrated pharmaceutical and medication management service providers,” Neighbourhood Pharmacies chief executive officer Justin Bates commented in a statement. “This was demonstrated, to cite just one finding, by the fact that almost 60% of survey respondents stated that pharmacy staff had initiated a conversation about their medications or overall health every single time or most of the time.”

Among other survey findings:

• Almost 40% of Canadians identify “having a pharmacist who knows me and is concerned about my health” as the most important factor in choosing a pharmacy.
• About one-third of pharmacy customers identify “picking up my prescription quickly and easily” as the leading factor in pharmacy selection.
• Only 18% of Canadians identify getting medications at the lowest possible cost as the most important factor, suggesting that Canadians value high quality and prompt service over cost. For each age group, cost was a priority for a relatively small proportion of customers compared to promptness and quality.
• Patient priorities varied only marginally by region and gender. Quebeckers place a slightly higher priority on quality of service than those in other provinces, for instance, while 43% of women cite quality as more important. Quality was No. 1 for 34% of men. Cost was the lowest priority across all regions of Canada.

The survey also found that patients with a positive impression of pharmacies take at least twice as many medications as those with a negative impression of their local pharmacy.

“This underscores the vital role that pharmacists and pharmacy staff play in helping patients deal with such issues as medication adherence, adverse reactions and drug-to-drug interaction,” Bates remarked.

Bates is head of an association that represents owners and operators of Canada’s leading Neighbourhood Pharmacies brands. Members serve Canadians through chain, banner and franchised pharmacies as well as supermarkets and other mass merchandisers with pharmacies. Members include leading retail and banner buying groups serving independent pharmacies.


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