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March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month (PAM)!

What is PAM? Pharmacy Appreciation Month (previously “Pharmacy Awareness Month”) is the annual national campaign that shines a spotlight on the pharmacy profession in Canada. Celebrated each March, PAM is a time to highlight the growing role pharmacy professionals play in our health-care system and thank them for their extraordinary efforts.

The role of pharmacy professionals is growing to meet our health-care needs: From coast to coast to coast, pharmacists are being empowered to practise to the full extent of their education, helping them care for their patients with fewer barriers. Recently we’ve seen new authorities allowing pharmacists to assess and prescribe for minor ailments for the first time in some provinces and the expansion of minor ailments programs and funding in others. We are also seeing new ways of delivering pharmacy care, like the growth of pharmacy-led primary care clinics. In many different ways, the role of pharmacists has grown considerably to respond to the needs of patients.

Pharmacy teams are improving access for patients and reducing strain on our health-care system: Access to health-care services remains a significant and growing challenge for many people in Canada, making pharmacy teams more essential than ever. Pharmacy professionals have grown their roles as prescribers, as immunizers and as the first point of contact to the health-care system for patients across the country.

Funding pharmacy care and empowering pharmacy professionals improves access to health-care services in our communities: As provinces and territories recognize the tremendous value that pharmacy teams can bring to their patients and to the health-care system, governments are authorizing new services and increasing funding for pharmacy care in many parts of Canada. As a result, we are seeing a growing awareness and enthusiasm from patients to access care at their pharmacies. More funding means more patients are able to take advantage of health-care services delivered at the pharmacy.

Patients’ relationships with their pharmacy teams have never been stronger: Over the past few years, people in Canada have turned more and more frequently to their pharmacies for health-care services and advice. In the process, they have forged new and lasting relationships with the pharmacy team members who are helping them lead healthier lives.

Pharmacy professionals across Canada work tirelessly to ensure that patients receive the best possible care: The contributions of Canada’s pharmacy teams, especially over the past few years, have been remarkable. From supporting their communities through the pandemic to helping patients navigate care amidst Canada’s primary care crisis, managing ongoing drug shortages and everything in between, pharmacy professionals are a critical force in Canadian health care.

Quick facts:

  • 95% of Canadians have a positive impression of pharmacists. • Most Canadians live within 5km of a pharmacy.
  • There are more than 46,000 pharmacists and 10,900 pharmacy technicians in Canada, working in over 11,700 pharmacies across the country.
  • Pharmacists are consistently ranked as one of the most trusted professions in Canada and Canadians see their pharmacist more often than any other health-care professional.
  • Every week pharmacists see about 10 million patients across the country.

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