Ontario Pharmacists Celebrate Pharmacist Awareness Week 2006 March 5-11



    Showcasing Multi-lingual Patient Care Services for Seniors

    TORONTO, March 8 /CNW/ - Did you know that Canadians in their 40's and
50's fill an average of nine prescriptions a year? This climbs to 22 for those
between 60-79, while Canadians over age 80 fill an average of 42 prescriptions
each year. During Pharmacist Awareness Week (March 5-11), the Ontario
Pharmacists' Association (OPA) is promoting pharmacists and their pivotal role
in health care, particular to seniors, a growing segment of Ontario's
population.
    In recognition of Pharmacist Awareness Week, OPA will host a Seniors
Wellness Fair and multilingual Safe Meds for Seniors Seminar Series at Villa
Colombo on March 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Ceremonial remarks will be
made by OPA officials.
    "Pharmacist Awareness Week is an opportunity to celebrate the profession
and our evolving role in patient-centred health care delivery as an accessible
provider of expertise and advice on a full range of services that is patient
focused, results driven, integrated and sustainable," said Donnie Edwards,
Chair of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association. "We are continually building
unique and value-added relationships with our patients to educate, counsel and
empower them to manage their own health."
    The Seniors Wellness Fair will be comprised of 19 exhibits, a continuous
series of multilingual Safe Meds for Seniors presentations by pharmacists in
Italian, Cantonese, Polish and English, pharmacists' medication review
counseling services for seniors and a noon-hour ceremony.
    The Wellness Fair will feature a variety of highly interactive health
exhibits, such as cholesterol testing, blood pressure testing, heel scans and
asthma screening.
    Exhibitors include Alzheimer Society of Toronto, A & P Drug Mart Limited,
Asthma Society of Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society's
Smokers' Helpline, Canadian Diabetes Association, Classic Care Pharmacy,
Clinidata Corporation, CV Technologies Inc., Drug Information and Research
Centre, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Lefko Pharmasave No.794, Medical
Pharmacies Group Inc., Medicine Shoppe Canada, Ontario Pharmacists'
Association (OPA), Ontario Seniors' Secretariat, Rexall Specialty,
sanofi-aventis and Shoppers Drug Mart.
    Whether in-hospital, community or public health settings, pharmacists
play an important role in improving patient safety and enhancing quality of
life by counseling patients about drug and health management, reducing
medication errors and providing assistance with chronic disease management
programs. Pharmacists also provide specialized clinics/services for asthma,
diabetes, smoking cessation, hypertension, cholesterol management and other
chronic conditions.
    "97% of Ontarians say they can count on pharmacists to give helpful and
accurate information on the appropriate use of prescription and
over-the-counter medications," said Marc Kealey, CEO of the Ontario
Pharmacists' Association. "Pharmacist Awareness Week is an opportunity for our
profession to celebrate the work it does to help patients achieve optimal
health and effectively manage precious resources for integrated health
delivery - system wide. This is worthy of a week of celebration."
    During Pharmacist Awareness Week, pharmacists will provide information to
the public on programs such as, the Meth Watch Program, the Smoking Cessation
Program and the Seniors' Safe Medication Use Program for all patients who are
seeking to take control of their health. School visits, pharmacy tours and
clinic days are among some of the activities that pharmacists will promote
throughout the Province.
    Patient access is important. Your local pharmacist interacts with as many
as 150 patients on a daily basis, which translates into 1.6 million visits by
Ontarians with a pharmacist on any given day.
    "We encourage patients to establish long-term relationships with their
local pharmacist," said Kealey. "The more patients know about the medications
they take, the more empowered they are to manage their health appropriately
with the help of their pharmacist - that is the aim of Pharmacist Awareness
Week."

    The Ontario Pharmacists' Association is the professional advocacy
association representing the views and interests of over 10,000 practicing
pharmacists and pharmacists-in-training, in Canada's largest province.





For further information:

For further information: or to set-up an interview, please contact
Mary-Anne Cedrone, Manager, Communications, (416) 441-0788 ext.4266, Email:
mcedrone@opatoday.com

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Ontario Pharmacists' Association

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