Pharmacists to Receive Specialized Education Program on Arthritis Management

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Curriculum Developed by The Arthritis Society

Pharmacists across the country will soon receive specialized training to better support the unique health needs of those living with arthritis thanks to the launch of a new on-line education program designed by The Arthritis Society. Pharmacists who complete the training will receive certification and be able to offer a wider range of tailored consultations to their patients with arthritis. This is in keeping with the nation-wide trend of expanded professional scope of practice for pharmacists.

The new program will roll out immediately and should be in place in 1,350 Guardian, I.D.A., PROXIM and the Medicine Shoppe pharmacies across the country within one year. The program has been accredited by the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP). CCCEP is the organization established to accredit continuing education programs that are specifically designed for pharmacy professionals across the country.

“This new initiative will make a true difference in the lives of Canadians living with arthritis by giving them increased access to professional, qualified care down the street and across the counter,” said Janet Yale, president and CEO of The Arthritis Society. “By increasing the convenience and ease with which Canadians can receive specialized counsel and therapeutic services, this program will help those with arthritis get the help they need to live with less pain and greater independence.”

The new training and certification program has been designed by The Arthritis Society and will consist of a specialized online program dedicated to arthritis pain management. Additional levels of certification will also be available for those who wish to pursue further training related specifically to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, respectively. The program will be rolled out under the diem brand in pharmacies operating under the McKesson Canada banners where it will be uniquely available for a period of one year. The diem brand offers bundles of professional services and companion products aimed at providing holistic therapeutic support to patient with specific chronic conditions such as arthritis.

“Customised patient care is increasingly vital to the programs and services we provide as pharmacists,” explains Jim Snowdon, Guardian pharmacist. “This sort of specialized pain management training and certification offers Canadians living with arthritis the assurance they need that we can provide them with holistic health therapies and advice.”

The term arthritis (“arthro” meaning joint, “itis” meaning inflammation) is used to refer to more than 100 related conditions. Arthritis can strike anyone at any time, regardless of age, physical condition or ethnic background, often with devastating and debilitating effects.

There are 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis, a number expected to rise to 7.5 million by 2036. The main symptoms of arthritis are chronic joint pain, stiffness and swelling, which can result in significant disability and poor quality of life.

About The Arthritis Society

The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing more than $185 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information and to make a donation, visit

About McKesson Canada

Founded more than 100 years ago, McKesson Canada is dedicated to delivering vital medicines, supplies and information technologies that enable the health care industry to provide patients with better, safer care. Our solutions empower pharmacies, manufacturers, hospitals and other health care institutions by enabling them to get closer to the millions of patients they serve every single day, while contributing to the quality and safety of care in Canada.

Through our four retail banners, Guardian, I.D.A., PROXIM and Medicine Shoppe Canada, we support 1,350 independent pharmacies across Canada. The McKesson Canada affiliated banners have a long history of championing independent pharmacies, through personalized patient care, which is at the heart of the programs and services they offer.

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Jeff Jurmain
The Arthritis Society
416.979.7228 Ext: 3354
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