We’re humankind, not humanmean: PANS launches KindRx campaign to combat harassment experienced by pharmacy professionals


April 30, 2024

No one should be harassed at work. Pharmacy professionals have reported experiencing aggressive behaviour from patients and the public according to a recent pharmacy survey.  

Over 50% of the pharmacy professionals polled indicated they have experienced harassment at work over the past year. Almost all of the reported harassment came from patients.  

“This is unacceptable,” says Allison Bodnar, CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. “This behaviour is having a negative effect on the profession and the mental wellness of our pharmacy teams. While we know we are not alone – other healthcare providers have shared similar experiences - we need to take a stand against this behaviour. We know a lot has changed over the past few years – prescriptions are not immediately available, patients need to make appointments for pharmacy services, and drug shortages have caused headaches across the healthcare system. Change can be hard, but this is no excuse for harassing the very healthcare providers who are trying to help.”

Pharmacy technician and educator, Robyn Oickle agrees, “I understand the frustration from patients who are concerned that they are not going to be able to get the help they need, but they need to recognize that we are doing our best. A little kindness goes a long way especially where I work in a very busy community pharmacy.”

In response, PANS has developed the KindRx campaign which includes a Patient Code of Conduct as well as posters and stickers to remind us that “kindness is contagious.” Materials were sent to pharmacies across the province earlier this month to display.

Rose Dipchand, Senior Director of Pharmacy and Professional Affairs at Pharmasave East, sees the KindRx campaign as a step in the right direction. “It is unfortunate that we need it, but we do. This campaign will help pharmacy teams manage negative conduct. When pharmacies display the Patient Code of Conduct, highlighting prohibited behaviours and a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and aggression, they are taking a united stand. We hope this campaign will not only improve patient behaviour so we can focus on patient care, but also build stronger teams.”

“We’re humankind, not humanmean,” says Bodnar, echoing the language depicted on a KindRx poster. “I think that says it all.”

The Patient Code of Conduct for pharmacy and other resources can be found at www.pans.ns.ca/kind.


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Media Contact:

Martha Lowe

Manager of Communications

Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia

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