MAY 2017 – If you don’t already have your copies of two new reports on pharmacy services from The Conference Board of Canada, use the following links to download them from the Conference Board’s website. The Value of Expanded Pharmacy Services in Canada is a research report that estimates cumulative savings to the healthcare system of between $2.5 billion and $25.7 billion over the next 20 years, based on the Canada-wide implementation of three pharmacists’ services (smoking cessation support, advanced medication reviews and management for cardiovascular disease and pneumococcal vaccinations). The second report, Getting the Most Out of Community Pharmacy: Recommendations for Actions, builds on the first report by exploring how to overcome barriers to the widescale implementation of expanded pharmacy services.
The research report indicates that governments would stand to see the greatest economic benefits by scaling up advanced medication reviews and management services (akin to the government-funded care plans that are unique to Alberta) for cardiovascular disease (CVD). It estimates cumulative savings of between $1.9 billion and $19.3 billion, which includes improved healthcare system efficiencies and increased labour productivity, by 2035.
The returns on investment (ROI) are also compelling for all three services. By 2035, the returns for every dollar spent are predicted to range from $27.00 to $72.00 for every dollar spent on pneumococcal vaccinations, from $5.60 to $9.10 for smoking cessation services and from $1.90 to $2.30 for advanced medication reviews and management for CVD. The ranges reflect varying reimbursement levels for pharmacy and varying participation levels by patient populations.
The Recommendations for Action report emphasizes the need for more activity in the following areas: adding to the current body of evidence to demonstrate the health and economic impact of pharmacy services; addressing legislation and regulation challenges; creating supportive operating environments in community pharmacies; evaluating pharmacy practice quality standards; and implementing appropriate funding models.
The reports were funded by the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Shoppers Drug Mart, with additional financial support from the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care.