“A momentous day:” 12 community pharmacy primary care clinics across NS celebrate grand openings

Dartmouth, NS – “It’s a momentous day,” said Allison Bodnar, CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS), as all of our community pharmacy primary care clinics celebrated grand openings across the province.

On February 1, eleven pharmacy based primary clinics opened, offering same-day, next day appointments for a full slate of services including assessment and prescribing for 31 minor ailments, assessment, testing and prescribing for Strep throat, and Chronic Disease Drug Therapy Management. Other services such as prescription renewals, contraception management and treatment for bladder infections are also available at these clinics and at over 300 pharmacies across the province. A twelfth location opens at Pharmasave – Brookline Pharmacy in Bedford West later this month.

The program, a collaboration between PANS, the Government of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Health was announced by Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health & Wellness on January 31.

MLAs from across the region visited sites in their constituency, sharing congratulations and echoing sentiment from the earlier announcement that we need to change how we deliver healthcare to help Nova Scotians get the care they need faster and that pharmacy teams have the skills to give people the care they need.

Despite only being open one week, patients are flocking to these clinics. “It’s been very busy,” says Pharmacist/ Owner of Bridgewater Guardian Pharmacy Pam Kennedy. “We’ve essentially been fully booked since we opened. It’s so exciting to provide this service to our community.”

Participating pharmacy organizations all agree on the significance of this program. Rose Dipchand, Senior Director of Pharmacy and Professional Affairs, Pharmasave East states, “Pharmasave is proud to participate in this program and we thank the pharmacists and clinic coordinators for their dedication to patient care.” There is no doubt that pharmacy teams are enthusiastic about the program too. Curtis Chafe, Vice-President, PharmaChoice Canada shares, “PharmaChoice Canada is excited to be a part of this program. Pharmacy teams practicing to the fullest extent of their training is one way to improve access to care and help shift resources in an overburdened system.

Jeff Leger, President of Shoppers Drug Mart adds “We applaud the government of Nova Scotia and PANS for recognizing the unique role pharmacists can play to help to address some of the gaps that have emerged in primary healthcare systems, providing patients with more options when accessing the healthcare services they need and deserve.”  Smita Patil, Vice-President, Member Relations & Professional Affairs McKesson Canada agrees “community pharmacies are often the first point of access for Nova Scotians to meet their healthcare needs and we applaud initiatives that expand the scope of the profession to the benefit of the local community.”

Considering early success of the project, planning for Phase 2 is currently underway. Twelve additional locations will open in May 2023 in areas of the province where the need for primary care is greatest. Locations will be announced in the coming weeks.

Images of celebration from across the province can be found here.

To learn more about services offered and book online at a participating site, visit www.pans.ns.ca/cppcc




For more information, contact:

Martha Lowe

Communications Manager

Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia

martha@pans.ns.ca | (902) 422-9583 ex 4