Health Organizations Join Hands to Promote Safe and Appropriate Medication Use



    Partnership Launched During Patient Safety Week

    OTTAWA, Oct. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and
the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) are joining forces with Canada's
Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) to promote safe and appropriate
medication use among Canadians.
    The partnership, which aims to raise awareness and educate patients
through the Knowledge is the best medicine program, is being launched during
Canadian Patient Safety Week from September 29th to October 4th. The theme of
this year's Patient Safety Week is "Knowledge is the best medicine. Ask. Talk.
Listen."
    Medicines can improve your quality of life, as well as prevent and cure
disease. They can help to avoid hospitalization or surgery. But if medications
are overused, underused or misused, they can pose an avoidable health risk and
increase the burden on our health care system. Since 1994, more than
3.5 million copies of the Knowledge is the best medicine brochure and
medication record book have been distributed free of charge through up to
2500 health organizations across Canada.
    "The CMA is pleased to collaborate on the Knowledge is the best medicine
program to help patients and their families understand and take medicine
safely," said Dr. Robert Ouellet, President of the CMA. "The more patients
know about their medication, the more they can be a partner in their health
care."
    "CPhA is pleased to join this partnership with CMA and Rx&D," said Jeff
Poston, Executive Director of the Canadian Pharmacists Association. "This
program will enable patients to obtain real benefits by helping them
understand how to use their medication."
    "Patient safety is our highest priority," said Russell Williams,
President of Canada's Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D). "We are
pleased to partner with the CMA, the CPhA and many other health organizations
across Canada to improve health knowledge and promote safe and appropriate
medication use."
    It is estimated that only 50% of people take their medication as
prescribed. Inappropriate use of medicines can lead to increased
hospitalizations.
    The Knowledge is the best medicine brochure and record book have been
completely redesigned to be more user-friendly and healthy living tips have
been added. For the first time, a downloadable version of the medication
record is available at: www.canadapharma.org.

    About CMA

    The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian
physicians. Founded in 1867, CMA's mission is to serve and unite the
physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the
people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA
is a voluntary professional organization representing over 67,000 of Canada's
physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial divisions and
45 national medical organizations.

    About CPhA

    The Canadian Pharmacists Association is the national organization of
pharmacists, committed to providing leadership for the profession and
improving the health of Canadians.

    About Rx&D

    Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) is an association
of members dedicated to improving the health of all Canadians. As partner of
the health-care system, our discoveries help eliminate the need for medical
procedures such as surgery, which have a significant impact on patient quality
of life and health-care budgets. Our community represents over 20,000 men and
women working for more than 50 member companies in Canada and is responsible
for generating 100,000 jobs across Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Media Relations Manager, CMA,
(800) 663-7336, (613) 731-8610 ext. 1266; Jeff Poston, Executive Director,
CPhA, (613) 523-7877 ext. 256, (613) 293-7398 (cell), jposton@pharmacists.ca;
François Lessard, Communications, Rx&D, (613) 236-0455 ext. 831


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