Opioid Crisis- Closer Than you Might Think

“Not my loved ones,” you might be thinking, and I hope you’re right. It’s certainly easier to believe, as I once did, that the opioid crisis is some far-off threat, like a flood or fire in another province. The reality is that it may be bigger and closer than many of us want to admit.  (Excerpt from a cbc.ca opinion piece written by Katherine Steinhoff.)

Read the full article here.

Lower Cost for Whom?

As you may be aware, more and more residents from the US are purchasing their prescription drugs from Canada, due to the lower prices. While this is increasing sales for pharmaceutical companies and their associates, there is a something more important that must be considered. Namely, what effect are the sales of Canadian medicine to our US neighbours having on Canada and we Canadians?

According to a number of professional groups, the outcome of these prescription sales may result in drug shortages Canada.  This, in turn, can have negative repercussions on the healthcare of Canadians.  As a letter sent by groups representing patients, health professionals, hospitals, and pharmacists to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor states, “‘The Canadian medicine supply is not sufficient to support both Canadian and U.S. consumers…The supply simply does not, and will not, exist within Canada to meet such demands.”of the potential for increasing drug shortages.'”  Read more about this here.

What? Listen to Patients?

The importance of the patient is becoming more recognized in the healthcare sector. However, in many instances, including the pharmaceutical area, the patient is seen as simply something to talk to or to talk about.

According to a recent blog post by Mike Rea, this stance is limited and limiting in terms of who patients are and what they have to offer. As he asks in his post.

But, instead of talking to patients, what if we started listening? Not just to what they ‘need’, but what else they want? There are so many incredible groups out there now – potent patient groups (MMRF, MDA, Savvy Patients and more), who want to talk to us, who want to share. But, start to listen, and there will be a hundred hands that go up to stop you doing that.

Click here to read the full article.

Pain…Pain….Go Away!

If you or someone you know has been affected by pain, here is something you may find of interest.

A group of Albertans is developing the Alberta Pain Strategy. The purpose of the strategy is to:

  • Outline a coordinated, provincial approach to addressing the complex issue of pain, starting with priorities;
  • Capture the considerable amount of work already underway across the province related to pain and the use of opioids within a single strategy document;
  • Build on successes and identify and focus on the remaining gaps.

To this end, the Alberta Pain Strategy team is seeking your thoughts, feedback and input. Please take a few minutes to read this short document and complete the online survey found here. The survey will be available until September 17, 2018.

Could your medication be making you sicker?

If you are take any medication, whether it be doctor initiated prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs or herbal remedies, you are apt to be doing do so in hopes of getting a particular outcome (e.g., less pain, greater mobility, etc.) However, can the medication you are taking actually make you sicker? Unfortunately, the answer is “Yes.” Click here to find out more.

BedMed Study Opportunity – Get Involved

“Did you know that the time of day when you take your blood pressure medication might be important? The University of Alberta is leading BedMed, a Canada-wide blood pressure study, to answer important questions on treatment for high blood pressure. With your help, we can find out.” (Bedmed Facebook Page.)

Health Canada Is Seeking Your Input

Health Canada is modernizing its approach to disclosing clinical information on drugs and medical devices to support advances in medical science and help improve patient care. Today, Health Canada published draft regulations in Canada Gazette l that propose to make clinical information in drug and medical device submissions publicly available after the Department has completed its regulatory review process.

Click here to continue reading.

Over-the-counter meds are no problem, right?

Do you know the side effects of acetaminophen – Tylenol? What about the side effects of Aspirin?

Many of us take over-the-counter medication on a regular basis. Due in part to the fact that these medications are available without prescription and are taken so freely and frequently, it is not uncommon for their side effects to be ignored and/or indeed unknown to us. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge can have serious consequences. For example, in a 2006 FDA report, approximately 46,000 emergency room visits/year were related to acetaminophen overdoses.

In a recent online article found on huffingtonpost.ca, some popular medications and their side effects are identified. If you have not already read it, you may wish to do so. As Stephanie Hallett, the article’s author states, “Potentially serious side effects for popular medications are more common than you may think.”

The Sign Says What?!

For many people, going to the doctor’s office can be a stressful, anxiety generating, uncomfortable experience. One can only imagine what an indigenous individual would feel upon entering his/her doctor’s office and being greeted by sign that said the following:

“Attention: native patients please don’t ask for tranquilizers or pain medications.”

Maxine Ginnish, who works at the Rising Sun Healing Centre, and took a photograph of the note posted at her doctor’s office is seeking an apology. Click here to read the full story.