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Episode 27: The Pharmacy Evolution
October 16, 2023

Pharmacists’ scope of practice has expanded and evolved in recent years, and Canada’s pharmacists are doing more for their patients than ever before. Pharmacists in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario have seen their prescribing powers expand significantly this year — with Ontario further expanding the list of common ailments pharmacists can treat just a few weeks ago.

There is increasing evidence that better health outcomes are achieved when patients are able to access pharmacist-delivered health services. While all pharmacists across Canada currently have some level of prescribing authority, this varies greatly by jurisdiction. From both a cost and patient wellness perspective, the role of pharmacists in the health system is key. However, when red tape, jurisdictional complications and an increased workload prevent pharmacists from practicing to their full scope, patients don’t receive the best possible care.

Advocates across Canada are calling on governments and the broader health sector to not only recognize the essential role of pharmacists in the health system and utilize this valuable resource accordingly, but also to explore the innovative tools and resources that are rapidly becoming available to the pharmacy sector. By enabling innovation, pharmacists can be empowered to drive forward positive change in how Canadians access high-quality health care.

Joined by Sandra Hanna, CEO of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, and Blair Laufman, Vice President of Medication Management Solutions at BD-Canada, we explore the evolution of pharmacists’ scope of practice and the role of technology within the sector.

Sandra Hanna is the CEO of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada. Sandra is a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto, a practicing pharmacist, and has completed her masters in law and the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program. She has served as CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacies since 2019, after serving for two years as the Vice President, Pharmacy Affairs at the Association. Sandra is focused on helping to navigate the pharmacy industry through transformation while continuing to build strong, productive relationships with stakeholders. Prior to her role at Neighbourhood Pharmacies, Sandra’s counsel was sought by pharmacy retailers, manufacturers, and service providers in her capacity as Chief Innovation Officer at Gold Links Health Solutions. She continues to practice in an independent pharmacy in Guelph, Ontario and has a passion for innovation in health care.

Blair Laufman is the Vice President of the Medication Management Solutions (MMS) business unit at BD (Becton Dickinson and Company) Canada. Blair leads a customer-centric and innovative team focusing on the safety of medication delivery and management for better patient outcomes. Blair is responsible for driving and executing the MMS business strategy in Canada and overseeing the growth and P&L responsibilities for a category growing with recent mergers and acquisitions. Having joined BD in 2007, Blair has held several commercial roles in sales, business development and marketing with increasing scope and responsibilities. Blair holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology from McMaster University and a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University.