Provincial government changes Pharmaceutical Service Act

In what appears to be a reaction to CICPO’s threats to pull out of the government’s prescription drug program, Health Minister Jerome Kennedy announced yesterday that he changed the act to require operators to give 120 days notice before exiting the program. The Council of Independent Community Pharmacy Owners (CICPO) — a group of several dozen independently owned, mostly rural, pharmacies — have been threatening to ditch the government’s prescription drug program unless they can renegotiate their contract with the government. All pharmacists in the province are required by legislation to be members of the Pharmacists’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL); negotiation between the province and pharmacists on a new contract began this week – and the government is only authorized to negotiate with that group. But the members splinter group CICPO say that PANL does not properly represent them. Kennedy said the additional time will give the government a chance to work out a solution.

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