The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) is saddened to hear about the physical and verbal assault of a pharmacist last week in Kitchener, Ontario. Our hearts are with the pharmacist who suffered injuries in this terrible incident, and we extend our deepest sympathies. There has never been a more important time to stand up for pharmacy professionals and condemn threats and acts of violence. Incidents like this are simply not acceptable.
Although the police are still investigating the motives of the crime, numerous news outlets have reported that the pharmacist may have been attacked for administering COVID-19 vaccines. OPA stands in solidarity with all pharmacy professionals and is against any form of violence or assault directed toward pharmacy staff. We firmly believe that while healthcare policy may be an emotionally charged issue for some, it does not give anyone the right to treat pharmacy professionals with disrespect or violence. While this event appears to be isolated and perpetrated by a single individual, pharmacy professionals may consider taking additional precautions to protect their person and property. Such measures could include choosing to change or remove any uniform/clothing that identifies one’s status as a healthcare professional when in public, reviewing de-escalation techniques and having a safety plan in place.
News of this attack is especially troubling because pharmacy professionals have dedicated so much time, energy, and expertise to serving their communities during the pandemic. The safety of pharmacy staff continues to be of the highest importance. OPA will continue to work alongside our colleagues at the Ontario College of Pharmacy, and other key stakeholders on initiatives to protect pharmacy professionals from this unacceptable violence.
About The Ontario Pharmacists Association
The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) is committed to evolving the pharmacy profession and advocating for excellence in practice and patient care. With more than 10,000 members, OPA is Canada’s largest advocacy organization, professional development and drug information provider for pharmacy professionals across Ontario. By leveraging the unique expertise of pharmacy professionals, enabling them to practice to their fullest potential, and making them more accessible to patients, OPA is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system. The pharmacy sector plays a strong role in Ontario with an economic impact of more than $6.3 billion across 4,600 pharmacies, employing 60,000 Ontarians. For more information on OPA, visit opatoday.com.