TORONTO — A new report by Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian nonprofit CARP is shining a light on a key role pharmacists can play in helping patients understand the medicine they’re taking. The report highlights the importance of medication reviews by pharmacists that can help customers taking several medications aware of potential side effects and interactions.
To compile the report, researchers interviewed about 500 Canadians who had been to a medication review with a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist in the past month. Among those surveyed, 43% said they had a better understanding of interactions between medications, and 36% said they grasped potential side effects better as a result of their review.
Additionally, 83% said their review made remembering to take their medication properly easier, and 82% were more confident in managing them. Some 85% said they were interested medication reviews becoming a routine part of their medication management.
As part of an effort to manage and prevent possible issues with drug therapy, 79% of physicians surveyed for the report said they were in favor of expanding pharmacists’ roles. Over half said that the pharmacist’s role is ensuring drugs are taken properly. Pharmacists reported that when they made home medication reviews for patients 40% weren’t taking their medication as directed.
For the companies that sponsored the report, the key to making medication reviews more widely available is through funding.
“This new report includes data demonstrating both the public and medical professionals see the value in pharmacists conducting medication reviews,” Domenic Pilla, president of Shoppers Drug Mart said. “Most of our provincial governments have begun to recognize the benefits and have instituted funding for this important pharmacy service. We now have the opportunity to make the eligibility requirements and funding for this service more consistent across the entire country to improve patient care and safety.”