APRIL 2023 – As Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Association Québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires (AQPP), Jean Bourcier has played an active role in advocating for expanded scope for pharmacists across Quebec. On the board of directors for the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy since 2018, he appreciates being able to provide a unique Quebec perspective on what the profession needs in order to keep advancing.
Tell us about your own work experience and what expertise you bring to the Board.
Although I haven’t practised in years, I’m still a licensed pharmacist with an MBA from Laval University. I have also managed many organizations in the health sector over the past 35 years. I started the pharmacy division at Walmart in Quebec in the early 90s, for example, and was president of a company called Medisys, which owns and operates 16 medical clinics across Canada. As a businessperson and entrepreneur, I can provide that business perspective as it relates to healthcare and pharmacy in particular. Plus, as a French-speaking board member, I can help raise the profile of CFP to the Quebec market.
Other than language, what makes the Quebec pharmacy market unique?
It’s the only place in North America where only a pharmacist can own a pharmacy. There’s also a high level of gender equity in the province as 50% of pharmacy owners are women. We have fewer pharmacies per inhabitant overall compared to other provinces. All of these factors tend to draw a high number of entrepreneurs to the profession. The number of clinical services performed by pharmacists in Quebec is very high too, especially in the last three years.
Why is that?
The removal of copays and deductibles on clinical activities performed by pharmacists in 2021 increased patients’ willingness to use pharmacy services. Plus, we are working with government on a new renumeration model for pharmacists which should be in place by the end of next year, that will reflect more accurately the work required by pharmacists in relation to the current and future complexity of the treatments and follow-up required for their patients. Through our subsidiary ACCCESSA, we are also looking to make the distribution of specialty medications accessible to all pharmacies in the province as well. The goal is to democratize access to specialty drugs for patients with chronic or rare diseases so they can get comprehensive treatment management by their own pharmacist.
What are your goals in being part of CFP?
In addition to the clinical research we support, I’d like to encourage innovation projects more targeted towards pharmacy operations that allow pharmacists to offer better services. This is something that other pharmacies could benefit from in their daily practice. We’re also talking about better distributing information around all of CFP’s many initiatives to the Quebec market. That’s something I’ll be working on this year.