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Drug chain enables pharmacists to extend reach.

TORONTO -- Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) has a dedicated team of individuals who support associate-owners and pharmacy teams to practice to their full scope.

Through SDM's minor ailments program, for example, the retailer is boosting awareness among Canadians that pharmacists in selected provinces can assess and prescribe for a variety of conditions. Preliminary data from customer surveys indicate high acceptance and need for this service.

Likewise, the pharmacy retailer's medication review program now offers young seniors a guide on managing health in addition to medications, addressing such topics as risk for falls, nutrition, physical activity and immunizations. "We also know from our customer survey that two in three patients showed a significant improvement in understanding of their medications after a medication review," remarks a spokesman.

Although pharmacy services vary by province, in Ontario alone SDM offers innovative programs pertaining to prescription renewal, medication reviews and prescription transfers, as well as medication organization, advice on over-the-counter medications, flu shots, medication disposal and blood pressure checks.

In an innovative program announced late last year, SDM pharmacies and pharmacists addressed problems patients experience with medications after they are discharged from the hospital, situations that often lead to readmissions. Patients often aren't sure what the proper dosage should be, and medications prescribed by various doctors, either in the community or at the hospital, can counteract each other.

To prevent this, Health Sciences North/Horizon Sante-Nord and five SDM locations in greater Sudbury, Ontario, launched a pilot project to avoid medication-based errors and reduce hospital readmissions.

"We wanted to launch this pilot project because we know that when health care providers communicate better with each other about the medications being given to patients, we can avoid some of the problems those patients are facing with their prescriptions," said Wilf Steer, HSN's lead pharmacist on the pilot project. "It's about making the care better and safer for patients, and Shoppers has been a fantastic partner in this project."

SDM also supports a number of continuing education programs to enable its pharmacists to provide valuable patient care services for their patients.

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Title Annotation:TSE 2015 ANNUAL REPORT OF RETAIL PHARMARCY: THE CHAINS
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Aug 10, 2015
Words:343
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