May 13, 2013
For Immediate Release
On Monday, May 13, pharmacists will be presenting the Legislative Assembly with a petition in support of local pharmacies in Alberta. The petition was initiated by a group of community based pharmacists to bring light to the issues surrounding the recent budget cuts and their impact on the health care of Albertans. The pharmacists expressed immediate concern that the new budget will gravely affect their ability to provide patients with the quality of care they require and deserve.
“The Government of Alberta’s imposed reduction in generic drug prices has created a ‘funding gap’ for community pharmacies,” states Stony Plain pharmacist Kit Poon. “This will soon result in patients having less access to their community pharmacist or they will be forced to pay out of their own pockets for services that have been provided at no direct cost to patients across the province of Alberta. As not all Albertans are able to pay for these services, service reductions will occur that will see Albertans obtaining less counseling from their pharmacist on health related matters, longer wait times, increased emergency room and hospital visits, more trips to the doctor, and overall, less effective medication therapy. Patient care and services provided by pharmacists will remain in jeopardy until the government finds ways to ensure pharmacist delivered services are protected.”
Pharmacies, particularly in rural Alberta, will face extreme challenges maintaining the level of service that has come to be expected by patients. Ron Mattice, a pharmacist from Cold Lake, explains that “the funded gap created by the drug pricing changes will require pharmacies with smaller patient bases to decrease operational costs in order to keep their doors open. At risk pharmacies will be forced to lay off staff or worse, may close their doors completely.”
To date the government has not, in good faith, consulted with pharmacists in Alberta when making decisions that affect them and their patients. Pharmacists are asking the Government of Alberta to come back to the table to negotiate a deal that will work for Albertans. “Thousands of Albertans have expressed their concern in signing this petition,” adds Mattice. “The Government seems to be ignoring pharmacists; perhaps they better not ignore Albertans.”
On May 13th, pharmacists will hold a press conference at the Wild Rose Media Room at 12:00PM where pharmacists will formally present the petitions for submission to the Alberta Legislature. Pharmacist representatives will be available for questions from the media.
For more information, contact:
Jody Shkrobot – Edmonton
Taria Gouw – Bow Island
Jaclyn Katelnikoff – Lethbridge
Bryson Le – Calgary
Rita Lyster – Barrhead
Ron Mattice – Cold Lake
Kit Poon – Stony Plain
Please download and print the attached petition form for your patients to fill out and sign.
We want pharmacists to be able to download / print off and send in signed ORIGINALS. We also want to encourage the public to do the same.
There are tight rules on the petition. Use it exactly as is.
On a weekly basis, please return signed petitions to the Value Drug Mart Central Office.
Value Drug Mart Associates Ltd.
16504 - 121 A Ave
Edmonton, AB T5V 1J9
Re: Pharmacy Petition