Smart Sampling Closes Loophole in "Seamless" Healthcare

    Nova Scotian Wins Manning Innovation Award for New Drug Sampling Method

    CALGARY, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - Nova Scotian entrepreneur William Adams has won
a $10,000 Manning Innovation Award, sponsored by the A. J. Child Foundation,
for developing a safer, more efficient way to distribute drug samples.
SmartSample(R) (US and Canadian patents pending) replaces traditional
pharmaceutical samples with a specialized prescription that physicians can
endorse and give to patients. Patients can use the prescription to receive
free samples from any pharmacy in Canada from its regular supply of
    A practice dating back to the 1920s, sampling is the pharmaceutical
industry's primary marketing tool. Sampling has an important role in the
healthcare system because it allows physicians and patients to evaluate drug
therapies at no cost. But as traditionally practised, says Adams, sampling is
wasteful, incompatible with electronic health records, and has the potential
to compromise patient safety.
    As a new pharmaceutical rep in the 1990s, on the road for two weeks each
month with a minivan full of drug samples, Adams quickly realized how
challenging it was to meet Health Canada's guidelines for pharmaceutical
products. Like prescribed medications, drug samples should be stored at the
right temperature and used before they expire. Adams says that before
pharmaceutical reps have a chance to collect expired drug samples, many end up
in landfills. Says Adams, "I just thought, there's a better way!"
    Bringing the pharmacist into the loop to check for drug-drug interactions
and talk with the patient bridges the gap in continuity of care, Adams adds.
    Adams developed his idea for a branded sample card with business partners
Paul Tobin and Greg Patey. Slightly larger than a credit card, SmartSample(R)
has the sampled product information clearly displayed on one side and a
section for physician authorization on the other. Once it is signed, the
SmartSample(R) becomes a valid prescription that the patient can bring to the
pharmacy of their choice for a free sample of the medication. An electronic
reporting system keeps track of the distributed samples.
    SmartSample(R) and the other SmartTechnology(TM) products are produced by
Sampling Technologies Incorporated (STI), of which Adams, Tobin, and Patey are
managing partners. Eight of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in Canada now
use STI SmartTechnology(TM) for various products.

    The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

    This year the Foundation will award $165,000 in prize money. Four awards,
totalling $145,000, will go to leading Canadian innovators. Another $20,000
will go to Young Canadians chosen at the 2008 Canada-Wide Science Fair.
    The Foundation was established in 1980 in the name of prominent Alberta
statesman, Ernest C. Manning, to promote and support Canadian innovators.
Since 1982, the Foundation has presented over $3.9 million in prize money
through its annual awards program. The 2008 awards will be presented at an
awards gala on October 3 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
    A Media Backgrounder about the innovator and his work is now available on
the Foundation's website, with video available after October 3, 2008:

For further information:

For further information: on the Foundation, contact Bruce Fenwick,
Executive Director: (403) 645-8288 or; For more
information about STI and their products, visit
or contact Mr. William Adams: (902) 489-8960 or

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