Press Releases


Mar 2, 2011

Shoppers Drug Mart responds by launching WOMEN platform and committing more than $40 million over five years in support of Canadian women

TORONTO, March 2 /CNW/ - Despite the fact that Canadian women overwhelmingly identify health and wellness as their top life priority, the majority of women feel that women's health is not given the emphasis it deserves. In fact, Canadian women report mixed feelings about the extent to which they live within a society that values and supports good health, and also largely feel that this area is underfunded. In response to the high priority that women place on their health and the health of their family, as well as the perceived lack of resources in this area, Shoppers Drug Mart launched its WOMEN platform and has committed to providing more than $40 million over five years to organizations focused on helping women achieve optimal health.   

Results of this national survey, released today by Shoppers Drug Mart, suggest that Canadian women, at all stages of their lives, clearly value good health, ranking personal health and the health of their families as their most important life priorities. As a result, women across the country place a high importance on being surrounded by people who make good health a priority and on a community that values good health.

Despite the fact that the survey showed that most women are in active pursuit of health and wellness information and advice, Canadian women, in general, don't believe they have adequate supports in place to support their quest. Specifically, only 38% believe they are surrounded by a network of people who prioritize their own health and 37% believe their community does the same. Similarly, the survey suggests that more than two thirds of Canadian women do not feel women's health gets the attention it deserves, with almost 68% believing that women's health is underfunded in Canada.

Responding to this clear directive from Canadian women, Shoppers Drug Mart has launched Shoppers Drug Mart WOMEN, an organization-wide commitment to provide local, regional and national support for the pursuit of women's health.  The Company, with the support of its partners, customers, employees and Associates, has committed to providing more than $40 million over five years to organizations focused on women's health. 

"At Shoppers Drug Mart, we believe that when women are healthy and well, we are all healthy and well," says Mary-Alice Vuicic, Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President, Shoppers Drug Mart. "So the glaring gap between the health priorities of Canadian women and the support they feel they have is particularly troubling. We feel compelled as an organization to focus the resources we can offer Canadian women, at all stages of their life, to help them achieve optimal health."

At the cornerstone of this commitment to women's health, Shoppers Drug Mart has identified five major partnership programs, created with leading experts and institutions that represent key health issues facing women across the span of their lifetime and experience. These partnerships include:

Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women's Cancers

Women's cancers will affect one in seven Canadian women in their lifetimes. In response, Shoppers Drug Mart has become the title sponsor of the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women's Cancers. Every year, tens of thousands of walkers in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, including Shoppers' own corporate team of over 1,000 Associate-owners and employees from across Canada, raise essential funds for research and patient care.

Tree of Life

National in scope yet locally-based, the annual Shoppers Drug Mart Tree of Life campaign offers patients, customers and employees the opportunity to donate directly to the organizations that make a difference to women's health in their own communities. Since 2002, the campaign has raised more than $15 million for local women's health organizations and initiatives. Every year, each store's Associate-owner selects a local women's health charity deemed especially in need of assistance and donates the proceeds of the Tree of Life campaign to that charity.


The Motherisk Toll-free Helpline is based at the Hospital for Sick Children. It provides new mothers and all caregivers nationwide with bilingual access to counselors health professionals, offering expert guidance on the effects of medications, chronic disease, medical treatments and countless other factors on the pregnancy and new baby. Motherisk can be reached at 1-877-439-2744 or online at is the first major online community where women living with cancer can share, learn, confide and connect. In partnership with the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CCTFA) Foundation, will connect women living with cancer and all who care for them with resources and information (including the Look Good Feel Better Program's workshop video series) and each other.

In partnership with Canada's renowned Women's College Hospital, Shoppers Drug Mart WOMEN is getting behind several initiatives that will improve and increase the tools and information women need to make good health choices. These include becoming the premier sponsor of the hospital's popular website,; supporting the creation of a new website focused on women's mental health; and helping develop a national Women's Health Report, which will guide the creation of resources women need to achieve optimal health.

About Shoppers Drug Mart WOMEN

Shoppers Drug Mart WOMEN represents the organization's commitment to improving the health of all Canadian women in body, mind and spirit. Brought to life through five partnership programs, created with leading experts and institutions in women's health, this national initiative connects women to health information and resources that help ensure their health only gets stronger. More information can be found at

About Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With more than 1,182 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The Company also licenses or owns more than 59 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and eight luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale. As well, the Company also owns and operates 63 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities in Ontario and Alberta. For more information, visit us at

Notes to Editor:

About the Survey

  • More than 1100 Canadian women, aged 18 years and older responded to the online survey conducted by Northstar Research Partners and Strategic Navigator.

Other survey findings include:

  • While health is a top priority for women, the importance she places on her own personal health differs significantly by life stage, with young couples and families putting the health of their families above their own.
  • Four in ten women say they are closer to achieving optimal health today than they were five years ago; two in ten say they are further away from their goal.
  • 91 per cent of women feel there are barriers to achieving optimal health, with the top four being time constraints, fatigue, financial limitations and stress. The older a woman is, however, the more likely she is to feel there are zero barriers in achieving optimal health.
  • When it comes to health and wellness, women are most fearful of becoming ill and losing the ability to care for their family and themselves.
  • Given one more hour in a day, Canadian women would almost unanimously use that hour to exercise.

For further information:

or to book an interview, please contact:  
Lisa Gibson      Stacy O'Rourke
416-490-2927      416-848-1426