April 2015 – Several studies have examined the positive impact of home medication reviews. But what about all those potential medication issues affecting pharmacy patrons who aren’t homebound? Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy Innovation Fund Grant recipient John Papastergiou and his research team are aiming to find out exactly how home-based medication review services could be used to help non-homebound patients.
“Our study will be the first of its kind to focus specifically on the non-homebound patient population,” says Papastergiou, associate-owner of two Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies in Toronto. “The study is also unique in that it aims to identify patient characteristics that correlate with increased incidence of hidden medication issues in the home.”
Under the current Ontario MedsChecks at Home program, home-based medication review services are funded exclusively for homebound patients. But in a previous study led by Papastergiou, results showed that many homebound patients are affected by medication management issues (such as expired or discontinued medications, or misuse of weekly compliance packages) that may not be possible to adequately identify and resolve in the course of routine interactions at the pharmacy. “Based on anecdotal evidence from my daily practice, I hypothesized that many non-homebound patients may also be affected by medication management issues that can only be reasonably identified during a home-based medication review,” says Papastergiou.
He says the goal of this new study will be to develop criteria that will help pharmacists identify which non-homebound patients may stand to benefit from a home-based medication review.
The study, which will be conducted over a 12-month period starting this year, will take place in a number of pharmacies across Ontario. Potential patients will be identified by reviewing pharmacy records and selecting those 65 years of age or older who taking five or more chronic medications.
The $15,000 grant from CFP will be used to reimburse pharmacists participating the study for conducting home visits and collecting the data.
Papastergiou says he expects the study results will contribute to supporting the larger, long-term goal of redefining eligibility criteria for publicly funded home-based med review programs. This will in turn improve access and maximize clinical benefits for patients who are most in need of these services.
Papastergiou will also be speaking about his research initiatives at the upcoming CFP Innovation Gala on April 23 in Toronto.