Report indicates that doctors and individuals agree that pharmacists can
play a greater role managing our health
MONTREAL, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The increasing prevalence of complex
chronic diseases is one of the most important health issues facing
Canadians, making prevention and management a key priority for our
governments. According to the report entitled Sustainable Solutions Report: A Focus on Managing Complex Chronic
Diseases, expanding the role of pharmacists is one solution that will reduce the
burden of chronic illness on patients, and save the system an
estimated $1.4 to $1.9 billion dollars over three years. The report
also includes survey data showing support from physicians and patients
who want pharmacists to play a bigger role in health care delivery.
"Pharmacists already provide advice to patients that take medication to
treat chronic conditions, but they can do so much more," says Denis
Roy, Senior Director Professional Affairs at Pharmaprix. "Governments
have identified chronic disease as an immense challenge and they are
investing significant dollars in prevention and treatment of these
illnesses; using pharmacists more effectively can help achieve the goal
of improving care for Quebecers and Canadians, while at the same time reducing costs and creating more access to the health care system."
Complex chronic diseases, like arthritis, hypertension, diabetes,
cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affect 37 per
cent of Canadians and are a factor in 70 per cent of deaths. In Quebec,
a little over half of the population over the age of 12 suffers from at
least one chronic disease. Some risk factors for chronic diseases like
age and genetics can't be helped, while others are controllable like
diet, exercise, or tobacco use. In 2011, the associated medical costs
for individuals with these complex chronic diseases were estimated
at $42 billion, or 21 per cent of total health care spending. This
figure is expected to rise to $53 billion by 2015. These rising costs
are unsustainable and solutions are needed now.
How Pharmacists Can Make A Difference
The Pharmaprix/Shoppers Drug Mart Sustainable Solutions Report includes a set of three practical steps governments can take to
facilitate pharmacists playing a more substantial role in the
management of chronic diseases. These include: 1) enabling pharmacists
to develop and manage patient care plans; 2) allowing pharmacists to
make prescription renewals and adaptations for specific drug classes;
and 3) improving electronic infrastructure and information-sharing
between pharmacists and physicians.
Similar measures were outlined in a plan entitled, 9,000 Points of Care: Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare, released by Canada's broader pharmacy community. That plan estimated
between $1.4 and $1.9 billion would be saved over three years by
expanding the role of pharmacists in managing chronic diseases.i It is also estimated that 1.3 million emergency room visits and 500,000
hospitalizations could be avoided, freeing up to 6.3 million hours of
"Patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes stand to benefit
significantly by having access to pharmacists that can help them reach
their health target, such as providing monthly feedback and support
regarding their blood glucose results" says Denis Roy. "In Quebec,
four type 2 diabetics out of ten are at risk of developing serious
complications because they do not reach their treatment goals.
Pharmacists see these patients more frequently than any other
healthcare professional and they should be considered by the healthcare
system as medication managers that can help diabetics stay away from
Enabling pharmacists to develop and manage patient care plans involving
lifestyle management tips and one-on-one or group counselling is one
instance of how pharmacists can improve the patient experience while
also saving physician time and health care dollars.
An example of this type of program is the Diabetes Care from Head to Toe campaign developed to help people control their diabetes. It also helps
those with diabetes work with a pharmacist to monitor their blood sugar
levels and medication over time to prevent complications that range
from stroke to foot ulcers and include target organ damage in the eye,
kidney and heart.
"My colleagues and I have a lot to offer to reduce the risk of
complications in diabetics," says Nada Nasreddine, a Pharmaprix
pharmacist-owner in Montreal. "We as pharmacists are medication experts
and we can play a larger role in helping diabetics control their
disease by recommending the appropriate course of treatment."
Diabetes has reached colossal proportions in recent years in our
province. According to Diabetes Quebec, more than 760,000 Quebecers are
affected with the disease. From this number, over 250,000 have
uncontrolled diabetes. What's more, at least 200,000 Quebecers are
unaware they have diabetes.
Physicians and Canadians Support Pharmacists' Expanded Role
As part of the Sustainable Solutions Report, national surveys were conducted of general practitioners and Canadians
to determine their views on the role of pharmacists. It found 88 per
cent of doctors say they would be open to having more support from
other health care professionals to help manage care for their patients
with chronic conditions, like arthritis, diabetes, or hypertension.
Almost a third of family physicians (31 per cent) agree an expanded role
for pharmacists will result in patients getting improved management of
their chronic diseases. And, two in five (40 per cent) say patients
will get quicker access to some services. Physicians agree that an
expanded role for pharmacists can benefit the health care system as a
whole in ways such as increasing patient adherence with medications (63
per cent), reducing hospital re-admissions because of pharmacists
conducting drug reviews (50 per cent), and patients getting ongoing
lifestyle and disease counselling from pharmacists (39 per cent).
Canadians also want pharmacists to help them better manage their chronic
conditions and would make use of their services. The vast majority of
Canadians (94 per cent) agree pharmacists can play an important role in
helping people with chronic conditions manage their health, and 87 per
cent would like pharmacists to help make sure they take their
medication as prescribed. Research from the Canadian Association of
Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) and the Canadian Pharmacists Association
(CPhA) reported similar findings.
For the full Sustainable Solutions Report: A Focus on Managing Complex
Chronic Diseases visit, Shoppersdrugmart.ca
About Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation
Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing.
The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores
operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With more than 1,244 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix
stores operating in prime locations in each province and two
territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers
in Canada. The Company also licenses or owns 57 medical clinic
pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy
(Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and six luxury beauty
destinations operating as Murale. As well, the Company owns and
operates 62 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest
Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In
addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug
Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug
distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and
MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and
services to long-term care facilities.
i 9000 Points of Care: Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare, April 2013, pg. 20.
Available online at: http://9000pointsofcare.ca/wp-content/uploads/The-Plan.pdf.
ii 9000 Points of Care: Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare, April 2013, pg. 5.
Available online at: http://9000pointsofcare.ca/wp-content/uploads/The-Plan.pdf.
Image with caption: "Sustainable Solutions Report: A Focus on Managing Complex Chronic Diseases (CNW Group/Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131121_C9484_PHOTO_EN_33672.jpg
SOURCE: Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation
For further information:
Carolyne Lord Capital-Image
(514) 739-1188, ext. 249
Shoppers Drug Mart