Community pharmacies key drivers of economic activity in Canada

Nearly 10,500 community pharmacies in Canada generate $1.68 billion in benefits to all levels of government: report

Mario Toneguzzi on Community pharmaciesA new report by the Conference Board of Canada says the community pharmacy sector generated more than $16 billion in economic activity and supported nearly 250,000 jobs in Canada.

The Pharmacist in Your Neighbourhood: Economic Footprint of Canada’s Community Pharmacy Sector report, which was released on Thursday, said Ontario contributed an estimated $6.3 billion, followed by Quebec and Alberta, where gross domestic product contributions were estimated at $2.9 billion and $2.6 billion respectively. In British Columbia, it was $1.9 billion.

“Community pharmacies provide health services to Canadians in a convenient retail setting, which contributes to improved individual and population health and creates efficiencies for the broader health-care system. Beyond that, community pharmacy makes significant contributions to Canada’s services sector supporting a substantial number of jobs and economic activity,” said Thy Dinh, director of Health Economics and Policy at the Conference Board of Canada, in a statement.

The report found that there were nearly 10,500 community pharmacies in Canada and the sector generated a combined $1.68 billion in fiscal benefits to all levels of government.

The conference board said the direct economic output of the pharmacy sector in Canada is comparable to the motor vehicle manufacturing sector.

“In addition, the national report estimates that the sector generated about $5.8 billion in labour income for those employed in the sector,” said the report, which examined the portion of economic activity, employment and labour income linked Canada’s community pharmacy sector.

The report said that in most of the other provinces besides Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C., GDP contributions from community pharmacies ranged between $580 million to $320 million, with employment between 9,900 and 5,000.

The report was funded by the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada and the Canadian Pharmacists Association.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


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