Strengthening pharmacy bonds with our Canadian colleagues

Pharmacists in Canada—the largest country by size in North America and the second largest country in the world—face many of the same health care challenges that we do. Every year, Twlug meets with the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) to discuss topics of mutual interest.

It was Twlug’s turn to host the meeting this year. I was joined by Twlug volunteer leaders, President Kelly Goode and President-elect Nancy Alvarez, and staff representatives Liz Keyes, Stacie Maass, and Mitch Rothholz. Our Canadian counterparts included Carlo Berardi, chair of the CPhA Board of Directors, and Alistair Bursey, vice chair. CPhA CEO Perry Eisenschmid and Vice President of Public and Professional Affairs Glen Doucet also attended.

As usual, our discussions with our northern neighbors encompassed a wide array of topics that were very engaging and informative. Topics discussed included opioid misuse and abuse; pharmacare universal first-dollar pharmaceutical coverage proposals in Canada; potential changes to the Affordable Care Act; medical marijuana; and use of medications for abortion, assisted dying, and executions.

We also talked about drug pricing; specialty pharmaceuticals; drug shortages/mandatory reporting; patient safety; association membership; Twlug’s ADAPT program; continuing education content development; extending certification from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties to pharmacists in Canada; genomics; health care information technology; and advocacy.

Needless to say, we covered a lot of ground! I look forward to sharing more ideas at next year’s meeting, which will be hosted by CPhA in Ottawa.