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Can J Hosp Pharm. 2009 Mar-Apr; 62(2): 178.
PMCID: PMC2826931

Care Beyond Cure: Management of Pain and Other Symptoms

Published in collaboration with l’Association des pharmaciens des établissements de santé du Québec (A.P.É.S.) and the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP)
Andrée Néron, Editor-in-Chief

Reprinted below is an adapted version of the speech given by Andrée Néron, Editor-in-Chief of Care Beyond Cure: Management of Pain and Other Symptoms (4th edition), at the official launch of the book during this year’s Professional Practice Conference in Toronto on February 2, 2009.

The translation and the release of the fourth edition of Care Beyond Cure were made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship provided by Sandoz Canada. The book will be distributed by the Medical & Scientific Bookstore. Printing is anticipated for late April or early May this year. An order form is available on the CSHP website under “Products and Other Publications”. Pre-order your copy today!

In the field of palliative care, perhaps more so than in other areas of health care, the pharmacist needs to be creative, innovative, and oriented to the patient’s quality of life. As such, Care Beyond Cure does not pretend to be perfect. We all know that what is right today may be less suitable tomorrow. This resource offers comprehensive guidance, combining evidence-based medicine with a practical, clinical-based approach.

Many pharmacists have demonstrated commitment and dedication to the field of palliative care and to keeping up with the continual changes in this domain. This guide serves as an update on issues in the field, offers current approaches to care, and focuses on cutting-edge and evolving topics. It also exposes some controversies and debates about treatments that are not yet well established.

The authors do not expect miracles but rather offer their best recommendations for providing innovative care without causing harm to the patient. As pharmacists, we constantly adjust the balance between our own clinical experience and evidence-based medicine. Do no harm, act in an ethical way, stay calm and professional in the midst of controversy, and do the best you can for the person who is asking for help: this is our way of thinking.

Pharmacists play an important role in providing appropriate information to patients, their families and friends, and health care professionals. As such, they may influence choices, myths, fears, beliefs, and attitudes. This book seeks to refresh the cycle of knowledge in the management of pain and other symptoms. The authors understand the need to update pharmacological knowledge and acquire skills in clinical management, and also to ensure that those skills are transferred to others in day-to-day practice. In a fundamental way, we want to give clues to overcoming the barriers to effective pain management.

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From left to right: Charles Fortier (A.P.É.S. President), Gordon Meyer (Sandoz Canada Inc), Andrée Néron (Editor-in-Chief, Care Beyond Cure), and Richard Jones (CSHP President).

We want to promote a balanced pharmacotherapeutic approach, based on curiosity, needs, and evidence and grounded in the philosophy of multimodal, individualized treatment of pain and other symptoms. We want to be effective and efficient in managing pain and providing high-quality care to those who are suffering in the final stages of their lives. We want to help solve the mysteries of their pain and suffering.

In the space between the dramatic words “I’m sorry, there is nothing more we can do” and the moment of death, there is life. As an essential member of the palliative care team, the pharmacist offers both science and art. By addressing problems with a flexible, individualized approach, the pharmacist offers physicians, patients, and families a choice among various options, according to needs and expectations.

This guide is a means to foster dialogue among health care providers. By offering guidance, it aims to increase knowledge about and confidence in approaching multiple concurrent symptoms.

The authors, volunteers all, are proud to offer this new edition of Care Beyond Cure to the community of health care professionals.


Articles from The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy are provided here courtesy of Canadian Society Of Hospital Pharmacists