CARP writes the Ministry of Health in support of the use of Pill Packs

May 27, 2008

Ms. Helen Stevenson Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Officer, Ontario Public Drug Programs Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

RE: Proposed regulations to amend DIDFA Regulation and ODBA Regulation

Dear Ms. Stevenson:

The essential issue for CARP is that compliance packs help people, particularly seniors, take their prescription medication safely and on a timely basis. As a measure of recognition of their importance, compliance packs are widely used in long term care homes and the regulatory changes will not apply to their residents.

The pharmacist must exercise much more professional care in preparing the compliance packs and should be properly remunerated for that service as compared to simply dispensing each medication in a 30 day supply bottle.

CARP believes that continued and better access to compliance packs will assist people to remain independent and safe in their homes by reducing the threat of medication error. Continued funding of the dispensing fees for such services to Ontario seniors should be a vital part of Ontario’s Aging @ Home strategy. The benefit and protection afforded by this measure would far exceed the costs.

Compliance packs obvious benefits of independence, safety, better health management and contribution to an individuals overall better health out weigh any consideration to change regulations to make either the service cost-prohibitive or to remove the option altogether. Good health is fundamental to our quality of life and should be protected and maintained.

CARP Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for social change that will bring financial security; ensuring access to health care and freedom from discrimination; ensuring that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and providing value-added benefits, products and services to members; and building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.

Yours truly,

Holly Vengroff, Director, External Relations