CARP Member Study Calls for Enhanced Meds Reviews

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CARP has a long history of weighing in on policy issues facing our health care system to ensure that older Canadians have affordable, timely and accessible access to health care.

CARP has promoted the concept of a continuum of care that closes the gaps between patient, doctor, pharmacist, caregivers, health services providers, etc. There has to be more effective collaboration amongst a person’s health care team.

We facilitate public dialogue on the challenges facing an aging society, and that includes working with others to influence public policy.

We regularly poll our members on various topics to get their views and experiences on various matters including healthcare. In 2012 we polled our members on reform of the health care system, including cost containment. We polled them again in 2013 on the same issues. In both instances our members felt there should be in increased role for pharmacists in our health care system, including taking on some doctor’s duties. 45% of respondents thought that would have the most effect on the healthcare system. In our 2013 poll we asked members “whose advice on drug interactions do you find most useful?” 68% of respondents said the pharmacist. 23% said their doctor.

But even family doctors believe that expanding the role of pharmacists will help reduce adverse drug reactions and can better counsel patients on drug interactions. Large numbers of Canadians (up to 50%) do not take their medications as prescribed. Older Canadians, in general, take more prescription drugs than the overall population and it’s a fact that adverse drug reactions increase with the number of medications used.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, older Canadians are 5 times more likely to be hospitalized due to ADRs. ADRs result in a great cost to a person’s health and well-being and a cost to our healthcare system. We think greater access and use of Medication Reviews can significantly reduce those costs to the health of the person and the cost to the healthcare system.

In the recent survey of members we undertook with Shoppers Drug Mart82% of respondents who have had a medication review in the past year said it made them more confident in managing their medications and they will make meds reviews a regular part of their health management. Adverse drug reactions are frequently serious enough to result in admission to hospital.

It is well recognized that adverse drug reactions place a significant burden (financial and human resource) on our health care system. It is clear that adverse drug reactions adversely affect patients’ quality of life and can also cause patients to lose confidence in the healthcare system. There is a significant impact through increase costs of patient care and the potential to lengthen hospital stays.

Value of Medications reviews:

  • Reduce risk of Adverse Drug Reaction
  • Increase understanding and adherence to prescribed medications
  • Increase medication effectiveness.

Recommendations CARP supports in the Sustainable Solutions Report

We believe the research shows that there is clear public and professional support for expanding access to and funding for medication reviews nationally and support the recommendations in the Sustainable Solutions Report. Recommendations in Sustainable Solutions Report

  • Give Canadians in all provinces equal access to meds review programs
  • Ensure the consultations become standard practice across Canada.
  • Improve promotion of Meds Reviews
  • Standardize promotion of the service
  • Conduct more research to track outcomes