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3.  Taking advantage of opportunities 
PMCID: PMC4213263  PMID: 25364349
5.  Going it on their own 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2014;147(5):276-277.
PMCID: PMC4213275  PMID: 25364335
6.  Self-denigration in pharmacy 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2014;147(5):265-266.
PMCID: PMC4213277  PMID: 25364332
8.  Paying pharmacists for patient care 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2014;147(4):209-232.
Expansion of scope of practice and diminishing revenues from dispensing are requiring pharmacists to increasingly adopt clinical care services into their practices. Pharmacists must be able to receive payment in order for provision of clinical care to be sustainable. The objective of this study is to update a previous systematic review by identifying remunerated pharmacist clinical care programs worldwide and reporting on uptake and patient care outcomes observed as a result.
Literature searches were performed in several databases, including MEDLINE, Embase and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, for papers referencing remuneration, pharmacy and cognitive services. Searches of the grey literature and Internet were also conducted. Papers and programs were identified up to December 2012 and were included if they were not reported in our previous review. One author performed data abstraction, which was independently reviewed by a second author. All results are presented descriptively.
Sixty new remunerated programs were identified across Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, ranging in complexity from emergency contraception counseling to minor ailments schemes and comprehensive medication management. In North America, the average fee provided for a medication review is $68.86 (all figures are given in Canadian dollars), with $23.37 offered for a follow-up visit and $15.16 for prescription adaptations. Time-dependent fees were reimbursed at $93.60 per hour on average. Few programs evaluated uptake and outcomes of these services but, when available, indicated slow uptake but improved chronic disease markers and cost savings.
Remuneration for pharmacists’ clinical care services is highly variable, with few programs reporting program outcomes. Programs and pharmacists are encouraged to examine the time required to perform these activities and the outcomes achieved to ensure that fees are adequate to sustain these patient care activities.
PMCID: PMC4212445  PMID: 25360148
10.  Case management for blood pressure and lipid level control after minor stroke: PREVENTION randomized controlled trial 
Optimization of systolic blood pressure and lipid levels are essential for secondary prevention after ischemic stroke, but there are substantial gaps in care, which could be addressed by nurse- or pharmacist-led care. We compared 2 types of case management (active prescribing by pharmacists or nurse-led screening and feedback to primary care physicians) in addition to usual care.
We performed a prospective randomized controlled trial involving adults with recent minor ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack whose systolic blood pressure or lipid levels were above guideline targets. Participants in both groups had a monthly visit for 6 months with either a nurse or pharmacist. Nurses measured cardiovascular risk factors, counselled patients and faxed results to primary care physicians (active control). Pharmacists did all of the above as well as prescribed according to treatment algorithms (intervention).
Most of the 279 study participants (mean age 67.6 yr, mean systolic blood pressure 134 mm Hg, mean low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol 3.23 mmol/L) were already receiving treatment at baseline (antihypertensives: 78.1%; statins: 84.6%), but none met guideline targets (systolic blood pressure ≤ 140 mm Hg, fasting LDL cholesterol ≤ 2.0 mmol/L). Substantial improvements were observed in both groups after 6 months: 43.4% of participants in the pharmacist case manager group met both systolic blood pressure and LDL guideline targets compared with 30.9% in the nurse-led group (12.5% absolute difference; number needed to treat = 8, p = 0.03).
Compared with nurse-led case management (risk factor evaluation, counselling and feedback to primary care providers), active case management by pharmacists substantially improved risk factor control at 6 months among patients who had experienced a stroke. Trial registration:, no. NCT00931788
PMCID: PMC4016053  PMID: 24733770
11.  The “D” word / Ça commence par un « D »… 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2014;147(3):133-134.
PMCID: PMC4025882  PMID: 24847361
13.  Pharmacy study of natural health product adverse reactions (SONAR): a cross-sectional study using active surveillance in community pharmacies to detect adverse events associated with natural health products and assess causality 
BMJ Open  2014;4(3):e003431.
To investigate the rates and causality of adverse event(s) (AE) associated with natural health product (NHP) use, prescription drug use and concurrent NHP-drug use through active surveillance in community pharmacies.
Cross-sectional study of screened patients.
10 community pharmacies across Alberta and British Columbia, Canada from 14 January to 30 July 2011.
The participating pharmacy staff screened consecutive patients, or agents of patients, who were dropping or picking up prescription medications.
Primary outcome measures
Patients were screened to determine the proportions of them using prescription drugs and/or NHPs, as well as their respective AE rates. All AEs reported by the screened patients who took a NHP, consented to, and were available for, a detailed telephone interview (14%) were adjudicated fully to assess for causality.
Over a total of 105 pharmacy weeks and 1118 patients screened, 410 patients reported taking prescription drugs only (36.7%; 95% CI 33.9% to 39.5%), 37 reported taking NHPs only (3.3%; 95% CI 2.4% to 4.5%) and 657 reported taking prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently (58.8%; 95% CI 55.9% to 61.6%). In total, 54 patients reported an AE, representing 1.2% (95% CI 0.51% to 2.9%), 2.7% (95% CI 0.4% to 16.9%) and 7.3% (95% CI 5.6% to 9.6%) of each population, respectively. Compared with patients who reported using prescription drugs, the patients who reported using prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently were 6.4 times more likely to experience an AE (OR; 95% CI 2.52 to 16.17; p<0.001). Combined with data from Ontario, Canada, a national proportion was calculated, which found that 45.4% (95% CI 43.8% to 47.0%) of Canadians who visit community pharmacies take NHPs and prescription drugs concurrently, and of those, 7.4% (95% CI 6.3% to 8.8%) report an AE.
A substantial proportion of community pharmacy patients use prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently; these patients are at a greater risk of experiencing an AE. Active surveillance provides a means of detecting such AEs and collecting high-quality data on which causality assessment can be based.
PMCID: PMC3975764  PMID: 24682573
Complementary Medicine; Toxicology
15.  Mixed messages 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2014;147(2):118-123.
More than 5 years ago, the Blueprint for Pharmacy developed a plan for transitioning pharmacy practice toward more patient-centred care. Much of the strategy for change involves communicating the new vision.
To evaluate the communication of the Vision for Pharmacy by the organizations and corporations that signed the Blueprint for Pharmacy’s Commitment to Act.
The list of 88 signatories of the Commitment to Act was obtained from the Blueprint for Pharmacy document. The website of each of these signatories was searched for all references to the Blueprint for Pharmacy or Vision for Pharmacy. Each of the identified references was then analyzed using summative content analysis.
A total of 934 references were identified from the webpages of the 88 signatories. Of these references, 549 were merely links to the Blueprint for Pharmacy’s website, 350 of the references provided some detailed information about the Blueprint for Pharmacy and only 35 references provided any specific plans to transition pharmacy practice.
Widespread proliferation of the Vision for Pharmacy has not been achieved. One possible explanation for this is that communication of the vision by the signatories has been incomplete. To ensure the success of future communications, change leaders must develop strategies that consider how individual pharmacists and pharmacies understand the message.
PMCID: PMC3962058  PMID: 24660012
17.  New year, new challenges 
PMCID: PMC3962064  PMID: 24660007
18.  Don’t tamper with oxycodone 
PMCID: PMC3563880  PMID: 23296585
19.  Association between frailty and short- and long-term outcomes among critically ill patients: a multicentre prospective cohort study 
Frailty is a multidimensional syndrome characterized by loss of physiologic and cognitive reserves that confers vulnerability to adverse outcomes. We determined the prevalence, correlates and outcomes associated with frailty among adults admitted to intensive care.
We prospectively enrolled 421 critically ill adults aged 50 or more at 6 hospitals across the province of Alberta. The primary exposure was frailty, defined by a score greater than 4 on the Clinical Frailty Scale. The primary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcome measures included adverse events, 1-year mortality and quality of life.
The prevalence of frailty was 32.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 28.3%–37.5%). Frail patients were older, were more likely to be female, and had more comorbidities and greater functional dependence than those who were not frail. In-hospital mortality was higher among frail patients than among non-frail patients (32% v. 16%; adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.81, 95% CI 1.09–3.01) and remained higher at 1 year (48% v. 25%; adjusted hazard ratio 1.82, 95% CI 1.28–2.60). Major adverse events were more common among frail patients (39% v. 29%; OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.01–2.37). Compared with nonfrail survivors, frail survivors were more likely to become functionally dependent (71% v. 52%; OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.03–4.89), had significantly lower quality of life and were more often readmitted to hospital (56% v. 39%; OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.22–3.23) in the 12 months following enrolment.
Frailty was common among critically ill adults aged 50 and older and identified a population at increased risk of adverse events, morbidity and mortality. Diagnosis of frailty could improve prognostication and identify a vulnerable population that might benefit from follow-up and intervention.
PMCID: PMC3903764  PMID: 24277703
21.  Moving on and adapting after 4 months 
PMCID: PMC3908622  PMID: 24494010
23.  Publicly funded remuneration for the administration of injections by pharmacists 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2013;146(6):353-364.
The administration of injections has become an increasingly common addition to pharmacists’ scope of practice. Four Canadian provinces, all US states and a number of other countries have regulations allowing pharmacists to administer injections. However, the extent to which such services are remunerated is unknown.
We contacted regulatory and advocacy organizations within those jurisdictions where pharmacists are authorized to administer injections to identify publicly funded programs that pay pharmacists for these services, as well as details of the eligible drugs/vaccines. Patient or private insurer payment programs were excluded.
Of the 281 organizations we contact-ed, 104 provided information on a total of 34 pharmacist vaccination programs throughout Canada, the United States, England, Wales and Ireland. Converted to 2013 Canadian dollars, remuneration averages $13.12 (SD $4.63) per injection (range, $4.14-$21.21). All regions allow pharmacists to bill for administration of the influenza vaccine, while some states allow for a number of other vaccines. Alberta has the broadest range of injections eligible for remuneration.
Despite evidence of increased vaccination rates in areas allowing pharmacist administration of injections, the availability of publicly funded remuneration programs and the fee offered vary by more than 5-fold across North America and the United Kingdom.
Pharmacist-administered injections have great public health potential. The range of injections eligible for remuneration should be expanded to include a wide range of vaccines and other injectable drugs, and remuneration should be sufficient to encourage more pharmacists to provide this service.
PMCID: PMC3819957  PMID: 24228051
24.  On becoming a new pharmacist 
PMCID: PMC3819961  PMID: 24228044

Results 1-25 (84)