Ontario Pharmacies Propose New Solution in the Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

Thursday, September 28, 2017 General News
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TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2017 /CNW/ - Understanding the urgent need for a solution to the opioid crisis in Ontario,

the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) wants to join in the fight against this epidemic. Neighbourhood Pharmacies recently submitted a proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care calling for an enhancement of the MedsCheck program to include services for patients living with acute or chronic pain and focusing on appropriateness of opioid use and opportunities to employ proven harm reduction strategies. 

"The entire healthcare system must work in concert to fight the scourge of dependency and overdose," says Justin J. Bates, CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacies.

"Our members can use their unique tools and position in the healthcare system to help prevent dependency before it starts—saving lives and saving the system precious dollars. We can ensure Ontarians are using medications safely and responsibly, preventing tragedy before it occurs."

Pharmacists' specialized expertise in medication management enables them to help Ontarians with a dependency to opioids and prevent others from becoming dependent. Neighbourhood Pharmacies is proposing a MedsCheck for Pain Management service—a focused medication review for patients living with chronic and acute pain. It would specifically target all patients started on a new prescription for an opioid and clinical criterion for those already on an opioid. Pharmacists could assess the appropriateness of use, consider alternatives, and create harm reduction strategies for those who need it. Strong patient relationships will be key—a level of trust pharmacists have already built with those they serve.

This systemic approach, with annual and follow-up consultations, would help Ontarians avoid dependency and identify patients at risk—a check our healthcare system desperately needs right now. As opioid dependency continues to spread, Ontario's pharmacists can play a powerful role in helping to stop this dependency before it starts.

About the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada:

Neighbourhood Pharmacies represents the business of pharmacy and advocates for Canada's leading pharmacy brands who deliver high value, quality care to Canadians in all models including chain, banner, long-term care, and specialty pharmacies as well as grocery chains and mass merchandisers with pharmacies.

SOURCE Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada



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