Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada Announces The Coutu Family as Recipient of Len Marks Pharmacy Advancement Award and Mike Dutton as Recipient of Distinguished Partner of the Year Award

Neighbourhood Pharmacies presents annual awards at 2024 Pharmacy EXPO

HALIFAX, June 24, 2024 /CNW/ - The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) is honoured to present the Len Marks Pharmacy Advancement Award to the Coutu Family and Distinguished Partner of the Year Award to Mike Dutton of Pharmascience Canada.

Sandra Hanna, CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacies, emphasizes, “Our awards stand as a testament to outstanding leadership and invaluable contributions within the community pharmacy sector. Pharmacies serve as linchpins in fostering a resilient health system for all Canadians. Visionary leaders like the Coutu Family and Mike Dutton continue to play a pivotal role in advancing pharmacy’s position as a healthcare partner and vital community health hub.” 

The award recipients were recognized during Neighbourhood Pharmacies annual Pharmacy EXPO, taking place at the Halifax Convention Centre from June 24-27, 2024. 

Marie-Claude Vézina, Board Chair at Neighbourhood Pharmacies expresses, "It's a privilege to extend heartfelt congratulations to the Coutu Family and Mike Dutton on behalf of Neighbourhood Pharmacies’ Board of Directors and the entire community pharmacy sector. Their unwavering commitment to pharmacy and their outstanding accomplishments significantly enhance innovative healthcare delivery. These awards symbolize our deep pride in recognizing the immense value and accessibility that pharmacies bring to our healthcare system. Pharmacy stands as a genuine healthcare ally to governments, local health systems, and Canadians alike."

Len Marks Pharmacy Advancement Award – The Coutu Family


Francois Coutu

The Association presents this award in memory of Len Marks, Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) Board Chair from 1997-2000. This award honors an individual or group who demonstrates exceptional dedication to advancing the field of pharmacy. Award recipients actively support the development and excellence of pharmacy leaders throughout their careers, strive to elevate the standards of healthcare delivery, advocate for the vital role of community pharmacies in providing care, and are committed to community service through charitable or volunteer initiatives that enhance healthcare.

The 2024 Len Marks Award is presented to the Coutu Family. The Coutu Family has been inextricably linked to Quebec entrepreneurship since founding the Jean Coutu Group in 1969. Over the years, the family and their brand have evolved to meet the changing needs of the pharmacy sector and expanded their retail banner in Canada.

François J. Coutu attended Pharmacy EXPO 2024 to accept the award on behalf of his family. With over 25 years of experience in various management positions within the Jean Coutu Group, François served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 2007 to 2018 and continued as President until May 31, 2019. Additionally, he has contributed significantly as a member of various board committees, including METRO since 2018.

He also acted as chair of the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) and was a director of Rite Aid Corporation. François is a pharmacist by trade, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from McGill University as well as a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Samford University. He is an international member of the board of directors of the McWorther School of Pharmacy at Samford University.

Distinguished Partner of the Year Award – Mike Dutton

Mike Dutton

The Distinguished Partner of the Year Award honours a Neighbourhood Pharmacies Partner who displays a commitment to the Association’s initiatives and committees and contributes to the advancement of the community pharmacy sector. 

This year’s recipient is Mike Dutton, Vice-President & General Manager of Pharmascience Canada, where he has been a pivotal figure since 2002. His extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry encompasses a broad spectrum of roles in sales, marketing, finance, strategic planning, and more, covering multiple therapeutic areas. 

Mike's exceptional ability to manage organizational change and implement effective strategies has significantly contributed to Pharmascience's rapid growth, establishing it as one of the leading generic drug manufacturers in the country. Through his tenure Mike has consistently prioritized the well-being of Canadian patients. Recognizing the importance of a resilient and self-sufficient supply chain, Mike actively advocates for strengthening Canada's domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and supporting local investments. 

Mike has also consistently emphasized the importance of integrity, trust, and teamwork throughout his professional journey. As a leader, he is known for his dedication to forming and guiding high performing teams, achieving outstanding results that mirror his deep-seated passion for sales excellence and leadership. His commitment to these principles has been a cornerstone of his career

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