What is a pharmacist’s role in National Pharmacare?

Recently, an advisory council has been established for the discussion of the National Pharmacare.  Many stakeholders including pharmacists are not pleased that they have not been part of the advisory council.  I understand the frustration. I agree, pharmacists should be part of this important discussion. But I am also disappointed with the CPhA statement on the Pharmacare Advisory Council.

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Reversal Agent for Factor Xa Inhibitors: Apixaban and Rivaroxaban

FDA has recently approved the new antidote for reversal of factor Xa inhibitors – Andexxa® (andexanet alfa). This agent can reverse the effects of rivaroxaban and apixaban.  It’s only a matter of time that this reversal agent will become available in Canada. So I think it is time to take a closer look at this new antidote and its role in reversing the effects of anti-factor Xa agents.

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Single Pill Combination for Hypertension

This year for Hypertension Awareness Month and World Hypertension Day (May 17), I want to discuss about the role of single pill combination in the management of hypertension.  Single Pill Combination has been consistently recommended in various Hypertension Guidelines to assist with blood pressure control.  However, there is no great resource to guide available options of single pill combination in Ontario.

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When to supplement with Vitamins and Minerals?

JAMA recently published an article entitled, Vitamin and Mineral Supplements – What Clinicians Need to know by Dr. JoAnne E. Manson . It is a good read as it highlights what supplements are clinically indicated.

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Common Side Effects – Icons and Images

Patients are often concerned about the potential side effects of a medication.  At the pharmacy, we may affix various ancillary labels on the prescription vials. But those labels have been around for a long time.  It is time to upgrade them to be something easy to comprehend. I also need your help! I am looking for your votes on whether the following icons illustrate the side effects as described. Help me out by participating in the poll.

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How should I take my medication?

ISMP Canada has developed the 5 questions that each patient should ask about medications? Of the 5 questions, I find that proper use is one that tends to be most difficult to communicate clearly and succinctly. How to take your medication? Do you take it with food? Without food?  What does it mean to take it on an empty stomach? Can you take it with dairy products? Or mix with supplements and alcohol?

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Viagra or Revatio?

At face value, they are two different drugs, indicated for different reasons – Viagra for erectile dysfunction and Revatio for pulmonary arterial hypertension. But any pharmacist / clinician should know that we are talking about the same drug, sildenafil. While using two different brand names can avoid stigma associated with taking one or the other, it also raises safety concerns.

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