05 Aug

INSTI HIV test available at Pharmacy BC locations

August 5th, 2016

Earlier this summer, the royal family’s very own Prince Harry shared images of himself having the INSTI HIV test performed on him, that was broadcast on social media live on The Royal Family‘s Facebook page.

Following in the footsteps of his late mother, he has taken a stand in the fight against AIDS and HIV, saying that he publicly received the test in order to reduce the stigma that surrounds getting tested, and to promote the idea that everyone should get tested in order to stop the spread of the virus. 

It’s within this context that we are so pleased to say that we have received the evaluation for our ‘Pilot Pharmacy Point of Care HIV Testing’, and we are thrilled with the results! Across all four participating pharmacies it was found that the provision of point of care HIV testing is feasible in the long term, while providing real value to patients. Enabling our pharmacies to perform the rapid INSTI test in-pharmacy has proven to be an effective means to promote ever-greater HIV testing within our communities, lending momentum to the fight against AIDS/HIV. 

If our pilot program and its success tells us anything, it’s that greater access and availability of HIV tests will result in more testing – which means more people being enabled to take control of their health, and to stop the spread. So it’s with great pleasure that we applaud bioLytical’s breakthrough with the European Union – their INSTI HIV Self Test has been approved for over the counter sale across Europe, and will be available in stores later this year. The test can be administered by the patient themselves, and provides accurate results in less than a minute using a simple finger prick. This is a major blow to AIDS/HIV, and will inspire ever-greater rates of testing across Europe. 

PharmacyBC/The Medicine Shoppe is committed to improving and supporting our communities and their health. That is why we have rolled out several innovative service programs, such as: ‘Pharmacy with Care’, where we provide a suite of medication services provided by professional nurses; HealthTab, which enables you to complete a number of routine health tests – such as blood glucose tests – right in our pharmacies and allows you to access your results on a mobile device; and our INSTI rapid HIV tests. For more information about these programs and our other services, please visit our website at: https://www.pharmacybc.com

bioLytical’s mission is to improve the quality of people’s lives by providing innovative solutions for infectious disease diagnosis, the first step in the linkage of patients to appropriate care and treatment. bioLytical’s vision is to be a global leader in the research, development and commercialization of rapid, point-of-care in vitro medical diagnostic devices. Biolytical pursue’s novel ways of engaging with diverse healthcare systems to maximize access to  innovative technology platform and products. To learn more about bioLytical, their products and services, please see their website at: http://www.biolytical.com/

04 Apr

Pharmacy BC to participate in GameChangers video project by Funding Innovation

April 4th, 2016

We are proud to announce our participation in the GameChangers video project, brought to us by Funding Innovation and in support of the Tapestry Foundation. This unique and artful video series aims to showcase those in our communities who are working together towards fulfilling humanitarian and charitable mandates – in other words, the people that are trying to change the game! We would love to thank Funding Innovation for inviting us to participate!

Funding Innovation's Core Story from Funding Innovation on Vimeo.

PharmacyBC/The Medicine Shoppe is committed to improving and supporting our communities and their health. That is why we have rolled out several innovative service programs, such as: ‘Pharmacy with Care’, where we provide a suite of medication services provided by professional nurses; HealthTab, which enables you to complete a number of routine health tests – such as blood glucose tests – right in our pharmacies and allows you to access your results on a mobile device; and our INSTI rapid HIV tests, offered for free to the community. For more information about these programs and our other services, please visit our website at: https://www.pharmacybc.com

Funding Innovation works to support and amplify charitable and non-profit initiatives by tirelessly working to bring together business, consumers and individuals with charities and humanitarian brands. Their mission is to assist in giving charitable and humanitarian initiatives a sustainable advantage in order to support their world-changing ideas. The GameChangers video series aims to show-case those who are working hard to make sustainable difference in this world. To learn more about Funding Innovation and their exciting GameChanger program, please visit their website at: http://fundinginnovation.ca/gamechanger/

08 Dec

Research project reaches key milestone

December 8th, 2015

On Nov. 26, the final 200th patient saliva sample arrived at UBC’s sequencing lab as part of the research project “Genomics for Precision Drug Therapy in the Community Pharmacy”.

The 18-month project is jointly funded by the BC Pharmacy Association and Genome BC and uses community pharmacies to help make drug therapy decisions using a patient’s DNA. Research is being done by a team at UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Community pharmacists began recruitment of patients, who are or have been on the anticoagulation medication warfarin, in late April 2015.

A total of 33 pharmacies across the province were involved, and 39 pharmacists were trained on the projects’ standard operating procedures.

As part of the project, each community pharmacist underwent rigorous training that included face-to-face, one-on-one training on patient privacy and legislation as well as operational procedures such as sample collection and shipping back to UBC for sequencing the DNA.

“We weren’t out to test the science,” says Geraldine Vance, CEO of the Association. “We know the science works. What we wanted to find out is could this be done by community pharmacies. And we proved it could.”

The team at UBC’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences is now sequencing and analyzing the DNA samples. They’ll generate reports that model how a patient’s DNA would have impacted their drug dosage, and the final reports will be completed by early February 2016. It’s important to note that in this research phase, neither the patients nor their doctors will receive results.

A surprising learning from the project was the interest by patients and pharmacists, says Dr. Corey Nislow, UBC’s lead researcher for the project.

“I was very pleasantly surprised how enthusiastic both patients and pharmacists were for the project,” he says.

The next step for the project is to launch a 1,000 patient trial across Canada, which we hope will begin later next year. The second phase of the project will examine not just warfarin, but will expand to look at other medications impacted by a person’s genetics and deliver reports back to the patient and their prescribers. Community pharmacists will counsel and collect patient samples and send them back to UBC for sequencing and analysis.

“This project very effectively proved this could be done,” Nislow says. “Now we want to make sure what worked in B.C. will work in the Maritimes, will work in the Prairies and work in Ontario.”

07 Dec

PharmacyBC attends the St. Paul’s Hospital Continuing Medical Education (CME) Conference

December 7th, 2015

The St. Paul’s Hospital CME conference focuses on that evidence based review of practical information, new trends in the industry, and discussion of important, controversial topics useful specifically targeted towards physicians practicing in urban or rural areas.

The 61st edition of this annual conference, centered on primary care medicine, provided us a great opportunity to discuss the ‘Pharmacy with Care’ program with primary care physicians.

The PharmacyBC booth was operated by Renee Lodge-Thornley, Director of Pharmacy Services, and  Pharmacist Vishal Trivedi. Conference attendees were eligible to enter a giveaway draw for Purdy’s chocolates.

About Providence Health Care (website: https://www.providence.on.ca)

Providence Health Care was founded in 1857 and today is a leader in rehabilitation for patients who have experienced strokes, orthopaedic surgery, and geriatric rehabilitation.

About St. Paul’s Hospital (website: http://www.providencehealthcare.org/hospitals-residences/st-paul’s-hospital)

St. Paul’s Hospital is one of the oldest seven health care facilities operated by Providence Health Care. St Paul’s Hospital is home to the Pacific Adult Congenital Heart Disease unit.

18 Jun

Bob Rai appointed to Alumni UBC Advisory Council

June 18th, 2015

PharmacyBC.com is proud to announce that Bob Rai (UBC Biochemistry ’91 and UBC Pharmacy ’95) has been appointed to the Alumni UBC’s Advisory Council. Bob Rai was nominated by the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ Office to join as a member on the Alumni UBC Advisory Council.

This accolade for Bob is special as he has worked hard to contribute to the profile UBC and its academic leadership globally.

Bob Rai brings his expertise along with his 20  years of professional experience as a pharmacist and entrepreneur operating a group of Medicine Shoppe pharmacies in the Greater Vancouver Area.  In Sept 2014 he received the Medicine Shoppe Canada  Professional Achievement Award.

Bob serves the community in many facets, he is a very active person that believes in leading by example.   He has served on the  board of directors of the Victoria Drive Business Improvement Association since 1999 including serving as President.  He also served on the board of directors on the South Hill (Fraser St.) Business Association, and board of directors on  the South Vancouver Neighborhood House.  He currently sits as on the board of director’s of The Tapestry Foundation,  and is a member and Past President of The Rotary Club of Vancouver Fraserview.  He has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellow for his contributions to the community and Rotary Club of Vancouver Fraserview.

Bob believes in giving back and as a part of  his Charitable efforts he serves on the Cabinet of ANOM for BC Children’s Hosptial.  He is also a friend of the BC Regiment and has supported causes such as The BattleGround Tours of 2012 and 2015.

Being recognized by many organizations for his constant contributions, Bob is also a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service and dedication to Canada.

Bob attended his first Advisory Council meeting on March 6, 2015. The Alumni UBC Advisory Council is a group of UBC alumni that provides advice and counsel to the Alumni UBC board, Alumni Director and Alumni Association. The duties of the Advisory Council members include creating strategies to engage UBC alumni, serve as ambassadors and advocates for UBC and Alumni UBC, participate in active dialogue around university issues and opportunities, and bring leadership to committees and special work teams. To learn more about the Advisory Council, please visit https://www.alumni.ubc.ca/about/board/advisory-council-committee.

07 Apr

Global Civic Policy Society presents their 22nd Public Salon

April 7th, 2015


Over the past 5 years Global Civic Policy Society have had 160 outstanding citizens present before 10,000 people in what is becoming a Vancouver tradition.

Join them Thursday April 23rd 2015.
Sam Sullivan’s 21st Public Salon.

Presented by Scotiabank

Thursday April 23rd 2015.
Vancouver Playhouse
7:30 – 9:00 pm

Ned Bell – Chefs for Oceans

Jay DeMerit – Former Captain of the Whitecaps

Adrian Glynn – Musician & Songwriter

JJ Lee – Writer 

Gary Ross – “Watch your Language

Jonathan Tippett – Artist & Mechanical Engineer

Carolyn Tuckwell – Boys and Girls Clubs

Etienne van Eck – Nelson Mandela’s Bodyguard

Fringe Percussion will be performing!!