A Look at Canadian Drug Policy: Implications for Decision-Makers, Clinicians and Researchers

January 21, 2009
This session is in English only

This presentation focused on the status of drug policy in Canada, including the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy. The presenters discussed current and future directions as well as implications for healthcare decision makers, clinicians and researchers.

More specifically, eight key questions concerning drug policy in Canada and provide the perspectives of both a researcher and a decision maker. These questions included:

  1. Are we spending too much or too little on drugs in Canada?
  2. Do drug policies really lower drug expenditures?
  3. Do drug policies have unintended consequences?
  4. How do drug policies affect front-line clinicians?
  5. Is access to drugs an important issue in Canada?
  6. Is the medication-use system safe and effective?
  7. What is the evidence for pharmacist cognitive services?
  8. Is a National Pharmaceuticals Strategy still needed in 2009?

Featured Speakers

Neil J. Mackinnon is an associate professor and the Associate Director for Research in the College of Pharmacy at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. Dr. MacKinnon also has faculty appointments in Dalhousie's School of Health Services Administration and the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. .

He holds a PhD in pharmacy health care administration from the University of Florida, and a master's degree in hospital pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin. Neil's research program focuses on improving the safety and quality of the medication-use system. He has edited two books, "Seamless Care" and "Safe and Effective" and is currently co-authoring a book for Canadians with a family physician. Neil is involved with real-world drug policy decision-making, serving on the Medication Advisory Panel for Medavie Blue Cross. He was a major contributor to the forthcoming Health Council of Canada report on the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy.

Jeff Poston was appointed Executive Director of the Canadian Pharmacists Association in 1999, following some time as Director of Research and Practice Development.

His experience in Britain and internationally has brought perspective to his work in Canada. A hallmark of his career has been a commitment to innovation, pioneering new approaches to the role of the pharmacist. These include developing relevant health services research; designing practice tools and guidelines to enhance pharmacy practice; creating policy documents to support advocacy; and advancing relevant technology.

In his role as CPhA's Executive Director, Dr. Poston has successfully developed effective strategic relations with other healthcare organizations. He is actively engaged in the international pharmacy sector and has working relations with national and provincial organizations. Dr. Poston frequently contributes to consultations on policy issues related to pharmaceuticals and health care policy.

Jeff Poston has a PhD in pharmacy from the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.

For more information, please contact roc-csa@chsrf.ca or 613-728-2238 ext. 221.