Use of Internet: Pharmacies
Canada’s 10,000 pharmacies employ about 42,500 licensed pharmacists, according to the Canadian Pharmacists Association, although it doesn’t break them out into compounding or fulfillment-only roles. As with most pharmacists around the world, Canadian compounding pharmacists use the Internet for research, to engage customers (within patient privacy limits), to network with other professionals, and to learn about advances in the chemicals they mix and dispense.
- Pharmacists, compounding and otherwise, visit the Ontario Pharmacists Association for education, news, and even insurance. It claims to be the “largest organization for pharmacy professionals in Canada.”
- CompoundingToday.com connects with compounding pharmacists across a number of touchpoints, including white papers, compliance, a resource directory, and a compounder’s network list, among others. The website is a product of the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding (IJPC).
- The IJPC is a bi-weekly print publication for compounding pharmacists with an online presence. Peer-reviewed, it also offers a list for pharmacists to connect, as well as a Compounder’s Resource Directory.
- The National Association of Pharmacy Boards serves North American pharmacists, including boards in every province across Canada. Its focus is on education, meetings and networking, and accreditation.
- Canadian Pharmacists Association offers its members accreditation opportunities, electronic medical system integration, and advocacy on behalf of Canadian pharmacists.
- Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, publishes a database of drug information resources for compounding pharmacists.
- The University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, compiles a number of databases useful to compounding pharmacists. Access to most is free with library membership.
- The Canadian government publishes a database of drug products, and has a robust online search function.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
- In addition to its website, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPA) engages with 16,000 followers on CPA’s Facebook page. It also has a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
- Pharmacists across Canada can join the Facebook page of Community Pharmacists Network Canada. Current membership is at about 4,400. Criteria to join requires a professional or educational association with pharmaceuticals and includes a request for the practitioner’s license number.
- The Ontario Pharmacists Association’s (OPA) Facebook page has approximately 8,400 followers. It claims actual membership of 10,000. Almost every organization addresses the COVID-19 virus; OPA has “Pandemic Tips” in the form of videos. It also has a Twitter feed.