Revolutionizing pharmacy services for indigenous patients facing substance use disorders, and using pharmacists to improve cardiovascular outcomes are goals of this year’s Innovation Fund grant recipients. Meet our 2023 winners: Larry Leung and Jeff Nagge.
Larry Leung, University of British Columbia
Jeff Nagge, University of Waterloo
New model for Indigenous patients (Larry Leung)
How can we uproot colonial and systemic issues pertaining to pharmacy and substance use experienced by Indigenous peoples? That’s the question Larry Leung, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the UPROOT research team at the University of British Columbia will seek to answer. Collaborating with B.C.’s Nuxalk Health and Wellness, which is currently building a substance use disorders clinic, the goal is to develop a model for culturally safe pharmacy services for substance use in a remote Indigenous community. This innovative pharmacy practice model is based on the principle of iixsatimutilh, a Nuxalk saying that translates as, “We are medicine for each other.” Pharmacists will balance western ways of healing with Indigenous worldviews of health and wellness. Not only is this an opportunity to improve patient care and expand the pharmacy practice to include spiritual, cultural and land-based healing, but this project can also serve as a model for other Indigenous communities both provincially and nationally.
The case for warfarin therapy (Jeff Nagge)
University of Waterloo Clinical Associate Professor Jeff Nagge and his team are seeking to prove the value of community pharmacist-managed warfarin therapy. He will build on previous research out of Nova Scotia, where 130 community pharmacies are part of the Community Pharmacy Anticoagulation Management Service funded by the provincial government. Nagge’s study will determine whether patients whose warfarin therapy is managed by their community pharmacist have a lower risk of stroke, systemic embolization, venous thromboembolism and hemorrhage, compared to those whose warfarin is managed by their family physician. If that proves to be the case, this research can be used not only to demonstrate that pharmacist-led warfarin may improve healthcare system efficiencies by freeing up time for family physicians, but also to justify costs associated with this billable service and support efforts for the adoption of point-of-care INR testing by community pharmacies across Canada.