In the News


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This feature in Pharmacy Connection is a place to find information about news stories we’re following. Here, you’ll read summaries of recent stories relating to pharmacy in Ontario and Canada. For the latest updates, stay tuned to e-Connect and www.ocpinfo.com


REGULATION OF MEDICAL DEVICES TO BE STRENGTHENED

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Canada’s Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor “directed Health Canada to bring forward a comprehensive action plan to better police problematic devices, more transparently report their risks to the public and improve how the regulator approves devices.” The Action Plan is now available. A number of stories reported in the media previously highlighted examples of where a patient’s health was impacted following implantation of high-risk products banned from other countries.


PROVINCE ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO OHIP+ COVERAGES

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As announced by the provincial government, effective April 1, 2019, private insurance plans will now become the “first payer” for prescription medications. Children and young adults who are not covered by private health insurance will continue to get their prescriptions covered free of charge.


STUDY FINDS UP TO ONE-FIFTH OF OPIOID PATIENTS ON LOWER DOSES INCREASED THEIR DOSE ABOVE RECOMMENDED LEVELS

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A national study of more than six million prescription claims found that as many as one-fifth of patients taking opioids had their dose increased above recommended levels. The study urges healthcare professionals to refrain from continually increasing opioid doses if patients are not reaching their goals within the recommended limits.


PHARMACY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

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A group of pharmacist-researchers from the Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network is calling for the pharmacy profession to make fundamental changes to effectively and safely meet society’s health care needs. An overview of these recommendations is captured in a peer-reviewed paper published in February 2019 in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal (CPJ/RPC). The research was supported by the Ontario College of Pharmacists and Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network.


NEW OPIOID MEDICATION WILL REPLACE DAILY DOSES WITH MONTHLY INJECTION

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Patients with an opioid use disorder who have difficulty taking medication every day may be able to benefit from a monthly injectable form of Suboxone® called SublocadeTM. The drug is expected to be available to Canadians by the second half of 2019.


HEALTH CANADA RELEASES DATA ON CANNABIS USE IN CANADA

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Health Canada released its 2018 Canadian Cannabis Survey in November 2018 which provides a snapshot of the views and habits of 13,000 Canadians between May and July 2018 related to cannabis, including how much and how often they use cannabis, what forms of cannabis they consume, what they think about its potential to be habit forming, and more.