Welcome to March!
It’s Pharmacist Awareness Month in which Canadians are encouraged to ask their pharmacist about the many services he or she can provide beyond medication expertise. This year, the key message of the Pharmacist Awareness Month program is Trusted care when and where you need it. The goal of this year’s initiative is to remind the public that pharmacists are accessible, available and approachable to provide trusted care in a wide range of basic primary health areas.
While consulting a professional is ideal, sometimes people also need a means to self-inform. In keeping with modern methods of information seeking, a new online search tool launched by Health Canada will give Canadians a faster, more efficient means of accessing important safety information on commonly used medications. The mobile-friendly database developed by Health Canada takes pharmaceutical information previously available through its website and provides it through a more accessible, ‘easy-to-use’ format.
Available through the government’s website, The Drug and Health Product Register can be accessed online here. People can now find everything on what a drug is used for, safety warnings and precautions, common side effects, and adverse reactions reported to Health Canada. Information on approximately 100 commonly used medications is already accessible. Health Canada’s aim over the coming months is to populate a list of 3,000 prescribed, and over-the-counter medications, as well as other health products. There is also an area on the new Health Canada search tool where anyone experiencing side effects as a result of a product can report it.
So the next time you have a medication question, check out Health Canada’s new tool, or simply, ASK A PHARMACIST!
“Remember how much you do not know. Do not pour strange medicines into your patients.” – Thayer, WS. Osler the Teacher, in Osler and other papers, 3.
Chandel Lovig, PCN Pharmacist.