Past Event: Pharmacy Solutions in Drug Plan Management

October 04, 2016
International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, ON

The 16th annual Pharmacy Solutions in Drug Plan Management Forum is a half-day conference designed to explore ways that current innovations in pharmacy can positively impact plan sponsors and their plan members.

This year's theme, Better Health, Better Value, speaks to pharmacists' virtually untapped role to support plan members taking medications to treat chronic diseases. Thanks to sweeping changes in healthcare legislation and examples set by publicly funded programs, pharmacists are equipped like never before to help ensure that plan members get the best possible health outcomes from their medicines, which means that plan sponsors get full value for their drug plan spend. As eligible medical practitioners, pharmacists are also growing their presence in the areas of point-of-care testing and healthcare coaching, to help prevent the incidence and impact of chronic disease.

New to the 2016 conference, this year's event will feature exclusive Benefits Canada research that captures plan sponsor views about emerging pharmacy services. This will explore which services plan sponsors most want to see become part of health benefits plans. It will also capture current levels of understanding about key issues related to chronic disease management, such as adherence levels to medications.

To learn more about the role pharmacy services play in plans and their potential going forward, don’t miss the 2016 Pharmacy Solutions Forum.


$129 + HST


Plan sponsors, benefit consultants, advisors, brokers, group insurance, PBM’s, TPA’s, pharmacies, pharmacists and other healthcare stakeholders.

For information on the conference, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada

Pharmacy Solutions in Drug Plan Management

October 4, 2016
International Centre, Mississauga

7:30 - 8:25 a.m.
Breakfast and Registration

8:25 - 8:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks

8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Panel discussion: What do plan sponsors think of pharmacy services?

Our multi-stakeholder expert panel will dive into brand new research to be unveiled at this conference, exploring how plan sponsors feel about the inclusion of pharmacy services in employee benefit plans. Among the services addressed:

- Medication reviews for plan members taking medications for chronic conditions;
- Prescribing services to renew or substitute medications; and
- Screening services to measure personal health risks and help detect chronic diseases.

The survey also captures' plan sponsors' levels of understanding of key issues related to employee health, such as the prevalence of chronic disease and adherence to medications.

Aldo Alexis,
director, compensation and benefits, University Health Network
Dennis Darby,
chief executive officer, Ontario Pharmacists Association
Adam Hanson,
manager, group strategic relationships, Great-West Life Assurance Company
Anne-Marie Smith,
practice lead, drug management solutions, Medavie Blue Cross
A representative from Shoppers Drug Mart

[Download the Presentation]

*This research is the property of Benefits Canada and cannot be used without permission from, and subsequently, credit to, the original creator of the research.

9:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Innovation in Pharmacy Services: Enhancing the Value of Health Benefit Plans

Plan sponsors stand to gain from the improved health and productivity of plan members through a new suite of available benefit offerings: pharmacy services. You will learn:

· What do pharmacy services for plan members actually look like?
· What are the anticipated costs for these services?
· How do they fit with government-funded pharmacy services?

The sustainability of private health benefits may soon be in jeopardy due to rising costs. It is clear that we need innovative and cost effective solutions. Pharmacy services are part of the solution. This presentation will walk participants through newly released information regarding six main types of pharmacy services, a reasonable & customary suggested fees list and an eligibility grid of publicly funded pharmacy services. Did you know that all pharmacy services are currently covered today by Healthcare Spending Accounts? The focus will be on the benefits and ROI for future inclusion of pharmacy services into health benefits plans to improve workplace productivity and manage the drug plan spend.

Mike Cavanagh,
co-chair, Pharmacy and Health Insurance Steering Coalition (PHISC) and pharmacist/owner, Kawartha Lakes Pharmasave
Leanne MacFarlane, member of PHISC and senior director, advocacy and preferred providers, Sobeys National Pharmacy Group

[Download the Presentation]

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Technology, Innovation and Value in Healthcare

Patients receiving complex therapies require a high-touch, personalized care model to ensure an optimal patient experience and responsible utilization of healthcare resources. Innovations in healthcare technology are enabling the tracking of real world data through integrated patient centered platforms in the specialty pharmacy space. With the increasing utilization of specialty medications coupled with the dramatic escalation in costs, technology has to move to the next and more actionable state. The criticality of this is driven by the ever increasing need to strike a balance between the desire by those who fund drug benefits to provide access and their growing challenges in achieving sustainability, affordability and a clear view of outcomes. We need clearer, actionable data to support ongoing funding and benefit all stakeholders in the circle of care.

Jane Farnham,
strategic health solutions leader, BioScript Solutions
Jeff Wandzura, vice-president, innovation, BioScript Solutions

[Download the Presentation]

10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Networking Break

11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Re-thinking the Pharmacy Experience: digital innovations and what it means for better plan member health and drug plan value

Traditionally drug programs are applied at the pharmacy when the prescription is presented and pharmacists are often faced with taking on an administrative role with plan members rather than providing clinical care. Connecting patient information systems between physicians, pharmacists, and carriers can streamline the plan members’ experience within the healthcare ecosystem and free up pharmacists to provide the value added service and counselling that plan members need. This session will explore a number of digital innovations and how these can positively impact plan members and ensure that they receive the right medication the first time around leading to better drug adherence and, by extension, improved plan member health.

Vincent Ng,
health business consulting senior manager, Telus Health

[Download the Presentation]

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The Role of Mail Order Pharmacy in Plan Member Health

The high prevalence of chronic disease in the workforce means that many plan members are taking at least one medication to treat their conditions. Mail order pharmacy is not only convenient for plan members, but can also help to improve their overall adherence to these medications. For plan sponsors, this means a healthier and more productive workforce. This presentation will use a case study featuring the journey of a patient using the mail order pharmacy in order to illustrate how this cost-effective measure can also benefit your plan members.

Joseph Hanna,
director, pharmacy, Costco Wholesale

[Download the Presentation]

12:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Pharmacy Solutions in Drug Plan Management - Speakers CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Aldo Alexis

Aldo Alexis

Aldo Alexis is the director of compensation and benefits at the University Health Network. He has over 20 years of extensive and successful leadership experience in Human Resources (HR) services, operations and administration. Alexis’ achievements include successfully developing, designing, communicating, implementing and administrating a wide range of employee programs and policies.

Mike Cavanagh

Mike Cavanagh

Mike Cavanagh is the Pharmacy Co-Chair of the Pharmacy Health Insurance Steering Coalition (PHISC), a working group of thought leaders from insurance and pharmacy. He is the current Vice Chair of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association (OPA), and has also chaired the Governance and Nominating Committee, the Audit and Finance Committee, and the Economics Committee. Cavanagh is currently a co-owner of Kawartha Lakes Pharmasave in Lindsay and Medicine Chest Pharmasave in Bowmanville, Ontario. In 2013, Kawartha Lakes Pharmasave was recognized as the top Pharmasave store in Ontario for sales growth for the previous year. Cavanagh worked as pharmacy manager at DrugStore Pharmacy in Lindsay from 2006-09 and was named the DrugStore Pharmacy district "Pharmacist of the Year" in both 2007 and 2008. An active member of the community, Cavanagh has worked collaboratively with local health organizations to help educate the community about topics such as diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis.

Dennis Darby

Dennis Darby

Dennis Darby is the chief executive officer of the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA). Since being appointed CEO in March 2008, Darby has led the Association representing the professional views of more than 14,500 pharmacists in Ontario. His mandate includes promoting the role of pharmacists as healthcare providers with expanded scope of practice, building member services at OPA (including education), and leading the Board’s strategic plan. Darby brings over 25 years of government relations, public relations, business development and administrative experience to this role. Darby joined OPA from Procter & Gamble where, as Director of North America External Relations, he led a team of senior professional charged with building and protecting the image and reputation of P&G and its brands. He has extensive experience working with a wide variety of stakeholders including governments and regulatory agencies, professional and trade associations, consumer advocacy organizations, and business media. Prior to that, Darby led research and development groups for P&G in Europe and North America. He has served as Chair of Stewardship Ontario, the provincial body that oversees the Blue Box Program, the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association and the Canadian Cosmetics Toiletries and Fragrances Association. Currently, Darby also serves on the board of the Canadian Toiletry & Fragrances Association Charitable Foundation, and is co-chair of the Ontario Government’s Pharmacy Council. Darby graduated from McMaster University in 1984 with a degree in chemical Engineering and Management, and he is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario. He achieved the ICD.D designation from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto in 2011.

Jane Farnham

Jane Farnham

Jane Farnham is the strategic health solutions leader with BioScript Solutions. Farnham's extensive experience in both private and public sector healthcare environments provide her with unparalleled and unique insight into Canada's healthcare system. An executive leader with expertise in business planning, health policy, government and stakeholder relations and operational management, Farnham has worked in both community and hospital pharmacy, biotech and generic pharmaceutical manufacturing, drug wholesaling, corporate retail pharmacy and independent consulting. Farnham recently served as Chair of the Board of The Canadian Pharmacists Association. She is Past Chair of the Board of the Ontario Pharmacists Association and is a past member of the Board of The Asthma Society of Canada. She served the Canadian Association of Hospital Pharmacists, the New Brunswick Pharmacists' Association, the Ontario College of Pharmacists and the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association in various board and committee roles and was a member of the Dalhousie College of Pharmacy Alumni Division executive. She has been a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Service Executives and founded CO-Focus, a national symposium on pharmaceutical strategy. Farnham is Past-Chair the Board of the Canadian Pharmacists Association. She was elected to the board in 2009, elected vice-president in 2011 and 2012, served as Chair from 2014-15 and has served on numerous board committees including Finance/Audit, Governance and Nominating, e-Business Review and Association Affairs. She is one of the founding mentors with the Leaders in Pharmacy program and was profiled in Pharmacy Business' March, 2013 edition. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Toronto as well as an Executive Fellowship from the Wharton School and Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania. She also holds numerous elected and appointed positions within healthcare associations across the country.

Joseph Hanna

Joseph Hanna

Joseph Hanna is director, pharmacy with Costco Wholesale. Bringing 15 years of pharmacy experience in various aspects of the profession, Hanna has a passionate commitment to the provision of patient care in a retail pharmacy setting in both official languages. His zeal for patient care and health promotion initiatives has earned him national awards and honourable mentions. Hanna has expertise in pharmacy consulting, pharmacy ownership, regional retail operations management, and long-term care. He has also served two terms on the Ontario College of Pharmacists Council and one term on the Ontario Pharmacists Association Board.

Adam Hanson

Adam Hanson

Adam Hanson is manager of group strategic relationships, Great-West Life Assurance Company. Hanson works out of the Winnipeg head office and his role focuses on the development of prescription drug management solutions, particularly by way of partnerships with external stakeholders including pharmacies, drug manufacturers and other service providers. He joined Great-West Life in 2008 and is ideally suited for this role. He comes to Great-West Life with a Chartered Accountancy designation from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where, among other things, he led the audit of a large publicly traded pharmaceutical company. Hanson joined Group Benefits in 2012, taking a leadership role in the Benefits Fraud department before assuming his current position in January 2016. He has also completed the educational requirements of the Chartered Financial Analyst program.

Leanne MacFarlane

Leanne MacFarlane

Leanne MacFarlane is senior director of advocacy and preferred providers with Sobeys National Pharmacy Group. MacFarlane is also a member of the Pharmacy and Health Insurance Steering Coalition (PHISC). She began her career in private payor health benefits over 20 years ago with MHCSI - Managed Health Care Services Inc., a pharmacy benefits management specialists based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. MHCSI is a subsidiary of Lawtons Drugs and a division of Sobeys Inc. She was responsible for the strategic growth and operation of MHCSI and oversaw all group benefit accounts, including corporate, multi-employer and public plans, typically consulting on matters relating to pharmacy benefit design, plan performance, and strategic fit. MacFarlane, along with her team of professional service administrators and consultant pharmacists advised on matters relating to plan design, drug utilization review and medication use management. MacFarlane’s team also operated an expansive workplace wellness program for their clients. Currently, MacFarlane is senior director of advocacy and preferred providers with Sobeys National Pharmacy Group - who operate over 400 pharmacies across the country under several banners including Sobeys Pharmacy, Lawtons Drugs, Thrifty Foods Pharmacy and Safeway Pharmacy. Her work engages her with national and provincial pharmacy organizations as well as with third party payors including public, private and preferred provider networks. MacFarlane, in her role, continues to oversee the operations of MHCSI - Managed Health Care Services Inc. She is a licensed pharmacist and a passionate advocate for the critical role of pharmacists as primary health care providers and part of the solution for improving health outcomes for all Canadians.

Vincent Ng

Vincent Ng

Vincent Ng is health business consulting senior manager with TELUS Health. He is a management consultant, digital health strategist, and a clinical pharmacist. He is passionate about transforming the healthcare system, particularly through improving the ability of clinicians to use digital health and mobile health technologies to deliver excellent patient care more effectively and profitably. In his current role at TELUS, Ng is responsible for understanding the existing and emerging business, technology and clinical opportunities and issues facing community-based primary care providers. He monitors market trends, analyzes data from various sources, conducts customer interviews and practice observations, and translates these data points into insights to drive clinical, technology and business model innovations.

Anne-Marie Smith

Anne-Marie Smith

Anne-Marie Smith is a pharmacist consultant with Medavie Blue Cross. A registered pharmacist, Smith has more than 20 years of industry experience, which allows her to identify trends and opportunities for drug plan management. Smith works directly with clients, whether it relates to a specific drug claim, or pharmaceutical developments such as a new product entering the marketplace. She also educates our consultants and plan sponsors on the drug management solutions available to them.

Jeff Wandzura

Jeff Wandzura
Jeff Wandzura is vice-president, innovation with BioScript Solutions, where he is developing technology and leveraging data to enhance patient outcomes and provide actionable insights into maximizing value in the specialty drug space. He has been at the forefront of pharmacy practice change as a community pharmacist, technology innovator and entrepreneur. Wandzura co-founded MobiCare Health, a mobile platform designed for the Alzheimer’s caregiver community that was acquired by a US firm in 2013. In 2014, he co-founded PatientPrep, a digital health platform designed to improve physician productivity by engaging patients with condition-specific medical templates prior to an appointment. QHR Technologies, Canada’s second largest EMR vendor, acquired the Canadian rights to PatientPrep in early 2016 and is now widely deployed to physicians across North America. Wandzura has spearheaded several pharmacy advocacy initiatives, most notably as National President of the 3500 member Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns, and as a Member of the National Blueprint for Pharmacy Steering Committee. He has consulted on mid-market M&A transactions in the healthcare space, was selected as one of Canada’s Next 36 Entrepreneurs in 2013 and has been recognized as a CBC Future 40 award winner in 2016.

For information on the conference, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada

The International Centre

The International Centre is one of the only privately owned trade and consumer show and conference facilities in Canada. They have over forty years of history hosting memorable events. For the second year in a row, The International Centre is proud to be the recipient of the 2014 M&IT Readers Choice Award. The International Centre has been recognized as the leading venue in Central Canada that exceeded Canadian meeting and event planners’ expectations!

International International

6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON L4V 1E8

Telephone: (905) 677-6131

Driving Directions:

QEW (Travelling EAST)

  1. Take QEW EAST to Hwy. 427 NORTH.
  2. Follow Hwy. 427 NORTH and exit at Dixon Road.
  3. Turn LEFT at the traffic lights at Dixon Road.
  4. Follow Dixon Road (which becomes Airport Road) for approximately 4 kilometers.
  5. The International Centre will be located on your RIGHT.


  1. Take GARDINER WEST to Hwy. 427 NORTH.
  2. Follow Hwy. 427 NORTH and exit at Dixon Road.
  3. Turn LEFT at the traffic lights at Dixon Road.
  4. Follow Dixon Road (which becomes Airport Road) for approximately 4 kilometers.
  5. The International Centre will be located on your RIGHT.

401 (Travelling WEST)

  1. Take 401 WEST to Hwy. 409 WEST.
  2. Follow Hwy. 409 WEST and exit at Airport Road.
  3. Turn RIGHT at the traffic lights at Airport Road.
  4. Follow Airport Road for approximately 3 kilometers.
  5. The International Centre will be located on your RIGHT.

401 (Travelling EAST)

  1. Take Hwy. 401 EAST to Hwy. 427 NORTH.
  2. Follow Hwy. 427 NORTH and exit at Dixon Road.
  3. Turn LEFT at the traffic lights at Dixon Road.
  4. Follow Dixon Road (which becomes Airport Road) for approximately 4 kilometers.
  5. The International Centre will be located on your RIGHT.

407 (Travelling EAST OR WEST)

  1. Take Hwy. 407 EAST OR WEST and exit at Airport Road.
  2. Turn SOUTH at the traffic lights at Airport Road.
  3. Follow Airport Road for approximately 5 kilometers.
  4. The International Centre will be located on your LEFT.

For more information, please contact Mark Davidson, Director, Experience Production & Operations

For sponsorship information contact Francesca Allman at 416-764-3883 or

For information on the agenda, please contact Lauren Harris, Conference Editor, Benefits Canada