Speaking to the appointment, board chair Vivek Sood said: “I am very pleased to announce Justin’s appointment as permanent CEO. The board is confident that, under his leadership, we will succeed in increasing member engagement, industry collaboration, and developing evidence-based public policy solutions for all levels of governments, the private insurance sector and Canadian patients, who rely on the highest-quality care in our neighbourhood pharmacies from coast to coast to coast.”
Bates joined the association — then called the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores — in 2006 as director of e-health. He became vice president of pharmacy affairs in November 2012 and was appointed interim CEO this past May with the departure of Denise Carpenter.
He has moved quickly to increase transparency and stakeholder collaboration, which are central themes of the association in its advocacy initiatives that will ensure the sustainability of the pharmacy business in the years ahead.
“I am grateful to the Neighbourhood Pharmacies board of directors and members for the confidence they have placed in me to lead the association’s activities on the wide range of issues that confront our members,” Bates said. “As the scrutiny of pharmacy practice and business increases, it is critical that we enhance our capability to develop the highest degree of cohesion and unity, in order to earn the trust and respect for the association in the current Canadian health care environment.”
Neighbourhood Pharmacies has identified the need for a new national pharmacy reimbursement strategy, and it is currently laying the groundwork for that framework.