Manitoba Government & Pharmacists Manitoba Announce Social Impact Bond

On January 8, 2020 / News

On January 8, 2020 the Manitoba government, Pharmacists Manitoba and Shoppers Drug Mart announced the launch of what is believed to be the world’s first social impact bond dedicated to helping people quit smoking.

A social impact bond (SIB) is an innovative social policy tool that brings together government, the private sector, not-for-profits and other stakeholders to deliver effective and prevention-focused solutions. Private investment is used to fund the programs initially and then is repaid if social outcomes and cost savings are realized.  These types of programs allow the government to explore more innovative solutions without financial risk, with the goal of delivering better outcomes for Manitobans.

In this case, the Manitoba government will partner with Pharmacists Manitoba on a smoking cessation social impact bond, beginning in April, with Shoppers Drug Mart as the investor. Shoppers Drug Mart will invest $2 million over the next five years to fund activities around smoking cessation including counselling and nicotine replacement therapies. 

During the press conference, Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen spoke highly of the role pharmacists play in our province’s health care and noted that the SIB would allow pharmacists to dedicate more time to smoking cessation counselling.

Pawandeep Sidhu, president of the board for Pharmacists Manitoba, also spoke at the press conference stating: “This is a great day for Manitoba’s healthcare system and for people across the province. Pharmacists are dedicated to patient-centred care and committed to making a difference in patients’ lives and this is another opportunity to demonstrate the positive contribution our members make to improved health care for Manitoba families. A social impact bond dedicated to helping people quit smoking will positively impact countless Manitobans and we look forward to partnering with the government to implement the new program.”

The announcement today marks another important step forward in our ongoing efforts to build a stronger relationship with the Government of Manitoba. By partnering with the provincial government in this unique initiative, we have another opportunity to demonstrate the tremendous value pharmacists provide for patients across Manitoba.

For more information about the social impact bond, please see the press release.

We echo Pawandeep’s sentiment and thank our members for your continued support.

Pharmacists Manitoba President Pawandeep Sidhu did an interview about the SIB with Hal Anderson on CJOB on January 9, 2020. To listen to the interview, click here.

*Please note that the program is open to all pharmacies. We will notify you of any further developments in the coming weeks and months.