– B.C. pharmacists on the frontline to help in opioid crisis
March highlights work of everyday community pharmacists March 7, 2018 – While 2017 was marked as the worst year yet in B.C.’s overdose crisis, B.C.’s community pharmacists continue to step in to help patients tackle critical health issues including opioid addiction. Across the province, community pharmacists are on the frontline to help deliver health care for British Columbians. The month of March marks Pharmacist Awareness Month (PAM), in which the BC Pharmacy Association lets British Columbians know about the role pharmacists play in important health-care delivery - from managing opioid...
Michael Ortynsky remembers the day when he made the decision to follow in the footsteps of his father and headed north to begin his career in pharmacy. Based in the “energetic city” of Fort St. John, Michael learned to love rural life. So much so that over the past 35 years, he opened pharmacies throughout rural parts of the province – Keremeos, Tumbler Ridge and West Kelowna.
Pindy entered a life in pharmacy almost by accident. While sitting with friends at the UBC undergraduate library, she realized that she may not get into med school. Knowing that she wanted to be in the healthcare sector, she applied to pharmacy and got accepted. That acceptance became the start of a rewarding career.
“…where everyone knows your name,” chimes the song from the television show Cheers. That is exactly what the cozy Pharmasave on Howe Street seems to be saying when you first enter the door. Mona Kwong breaks into a smile every time the door opens, from recognizing a familiar face to greeting a newly arrived tourist. “Our store is like a community hub. People want to come back, even several times a day because it’s so comfortable, like your neighbourhood bar,” Mona says, laughing.
Rami Hanania’s eyes light up, his voice soft but urgent, encouraging his customers to feel welcome at the Owl Pharmacy on the corner of Main and East Hastings in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. "On a typical day, I see patients on a daily basis and I know what they are going through, many of them undergoing addiction and withdrawal symptoms," he says. "I see they are isolated, many of them homeless. They just want to talk, to be understood, to get help."