Toronto, ON, December 12, 2017 — Three OPEN researchers have received almost $140k in funding from the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy to support their innovative pharmacy practice research projects.
Dr. Feng Chang, University of Waterloo — $49,500
With the support of a $49,500 grant, Dr. Chang and her team will examine the feasibility and effectiveness of a pharmacist intervention targeting high-dose, high-risk prescription opioids. The study will complement previous research in the area funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, as well as Health Canada Anti-Drug Strategy Initiatives.
The reality is that opioid prescriptions have tripled in Canada since 2000. In Ontario, one in every 550 patients die from opioid-related causes. The researchers hope to prove that intervention by community pharmacies will result in not only more timely identification of opioid issues, but a greater awareness of high-dose opioid use.
Community pharmacists are the final link in patient access to prescribed opioids, notes Dr. Chang. “They can have significant impact in highlighting high-dose and high-risk opioids, in turn promoting inter-professional management and preventing opioid overdose fatalities.”
Other collaborating organizations in this multiphase project include the Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network and SouthWestern Academic Health Network, among others.
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Dr. Lori MacCallum, Banting & Best Diabetes Centre, University of Toronto — $63,106
The $63,106 grant from CFP will support research into strategies needed to encourage pharmacist routine follow-up after an initial medication review in people with diabetes. While about half of Ontarians with diabetes have received a MedsCheck during the first four years of the program, only 4% of those under 66 years of age and 2.6% of those over 66 have received a billed follow-up appointment.
“This represents a substantial opportunity for focused research into how to improve pharmacist routine follow-up, including further diabetes education and monitoring,” says Dr. MacCullum.
As part of her research, she and her team will also determine how routine monitoring and follow-up is linked to other expanded professional services.
“This project will focus on an area of research and practice that receives little attention but is critical for pharmacists to deliver ongoing, longitudinal care,” says Dr. MacCallum. “Community pharmacists who engage in routine monitoring and follow up will improve diabetes care and the management of other chronic diseases.”
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Dr. Ross Tsuyuki, University of Alberta — $25,000
With the support of a $25,000 CFP grant, and additional funding from the New Brunswick Pharmacists Association, Dr. Tsuyuki and his team will track and quantify the impact of pharmacist management of patients with uncomplicated urinary tract infection using a web-based registry and 40 community pharmacists.
The fact the study will have two components — with pharmacists who prescribe antibiotics or perform prescription adaptations or substitution — will allow for the assessment of multiple aspects of UTI management by pharmacists.
“The registry’s design will facilitate best practice implementation in UTI management and may encourage more pharmacists to get involved in providing this service,” noted Dr. Tsuyuki.
The research team believes the study will demonstrate the ability for pharmacists to appropriately assess for and treat UTIs, as well as screen and refer patients when appropriate.
The CFP Board chose these three projects from a record 47 applications, as they felt these projects will help support the expansion of the pharmacist’s role in the healthcare system, while demonstrating their value.