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Donnie Edwards: Worry less about numbers, more about service

Donnie Edwards co-owns Boggio & Edwards IDA, a specialty compounding pharmacy. His personal focus is on pain management, women’s health and addiction services.

Donnie has also been appointed to the Narcotics Monitoring Working Group by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide advice on managing and evaluating data. “I enjoy the diverse nature of the profession,” says Donnie. “I hang my hat at the pharmacy, but I am also an active member of the OPA [Ontario Pharmacists Association]. As well, I am a Regional Clinical Coordinator for the fourth-year University of Waterloo pharmacy students on their clinical rotations.”


Education: University of Toronto (Bachelor of Science, Pharmacy)

Current role: Pharmacist Owner, Boggio & Edwards IDA, Ridgeway, Ont. (family of stores in the Niagara region)

When you graduated, what did you envision for your future? Did your career path take any unexpected turns?

When I entered the University of Toronto, I had little knowledge of the multifaceted nature of the pharmacy profession. I was always interested in healthcare, but I was also interested in business and politics. As such, I looked forward to a career that offered both professional and political opportunities. As my career path began, my government relations work came to the forefront. I served as chair of the OPA board where we worked together to advance the profession and which included the debut of the MedsCheck program. We knew that pharmacy could progress healthcare in this province. We have not achieved our full potential, but the day will come when a physician diagnoses and the pharmacist determines the best medication treatment.

What is your greatest challenge as a leader in the pharmacy sector?

The pharmacy profession has been facing challenges since reform first started. We’ve been under the microscope and that is not going away any time soon. Our greatest challenge will be to ensure government, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and patients understand the role pharmacists can play and empower them. Pharmacists continue to reinvent themselves.

What do you think will be the biggest opportunities for pharmacy in the next decade?

We are the hub of healthcare because of our access and trustworthiness. It will be logical for insurers and pharmaceutical companies to partner with us. Keeping the patient at the centre will lead to new opportunities.

What would you tell new graduates about the importance of customer loyalty today?

Pharmacy students have a commitment to significantly improve patient outcomes. This will drive customer loyalty. In our pharmacy, we worry less about numbers and more about the service we provide.Through constant reconsideration of customer needs, the pharmacist can continue to modify their individual scope of practice. People want pharmacists who listen to their needs and in turn exceed them.

What can pharmacists do to enhance patient adherence?

An innate understanding of the medications being taken is important for patient adherence. In order to obtain optimal outcomes, patients must clearly recognize how their medications work and why it is vital for them to be taken in the manner prescribed. The goal is all about these positive outcomes.

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