A research team led by Dr. Nancy Waite from the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy and Dr. Lisa Dolovich, of the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University received $5.7 million in funding today to study how to make the use of drugs more effective for patients and health-care professionals.
The Honourable John Milloy, member of provincial parliament for Kitchener Centre, announced the funding today at the University of Waterloo's School of Pharmacy.
The funding, provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) through the Health System Research Fund program, allows researchers across Ontario to study the effectiveness of provincial pharmacist-led medication programs. The team's goal is to study the quality, outcomes and value of pharmacist services and improve medication use.
The grant will go towards the Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration – termed OPEN – a new interdisciplinary research program led by Professors Waite and Dolovich. Their research program is officially titled, “Fostering innovation and evaluating the effectiveness of Ontario pharmacist-led medication management programs.” It will evaluate Ontario’s MedsCheck and Pharmaceutical Opinion programs, introduced in 2007 and 2011, as well as legislation introduced in 2012 to allow pharmacists to give influenza vaccines and the authority to renew and adapt prescriptions programs.
OPEN will also conduct pilot studies with pharmacists to evaluate potential pharmacist services such as chronic pain management and deprescribing guidelines – with the goal to reduce and simplify long-term medication use in the elderly and individuals in rural areas.
The project will provide training in health services research by mentoring students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty as they learn from and network with senior researchers and OPEN’s key partners: MOHLTC, the Ontario College of Pharmacists and the Ontario Pharmacists' Association.
Investigators at Waterloo and McMaster will be joined by others from Western University, University of Toronto and the Bruyère Research Institute, a partnership of Bruyère Continuing Care and the University of Ottawa, to conduct the three-year research projects.
Those interested in learning more about pharmacy practice research training opportunities can contact OPEN at firstname.lastname@example.org.