OCTOBER 2019 – Congratulations to this year’s recipients of grants from the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy’s Innovation Fund, who received $125,000 in total funding. CFP has awarded three grants this year, in two fields of patient care that can benefit significantly from an expanded role for pharmacists: mental health (depression and anxiety) and the use of medical cannabis for a variety of conditions.
Since 2007, CFP’s Innovation Fund has awarded more than $2 million in grants to pharmacy researchers, leaders and innovators.
Expanding the Circle of Care for Mental Health
The “Mental Health Assessment and Prescribing by Alberta Pharmacists (MAP-AP)” research study led by Daniel Burton and the research team at University of Alberta seeks to evaluate the effect of a community-pharmacist monitoring and intervention program with patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder and/or general anxiety disorder, in comparison to usual care managed exclusively by the patient’s primary care provider. Pharmacists’ interventions may include prescribing, and the pharmacists will enage with patients’ family physicians. The randomized controlled trial is funded with a CFP Innovation Fund grant of $50,000.
CannabisCareRx: The Pharmacist’s Role in Medical Cannabis
Laura Murphy and Olavo Fernandes at the University Health Network have received $25,000 from CFP’s Innovation Fund to develop Canada’s first structured program to assist pharmacists with screening patients on their possible use of medical cannabis, and from there, if applicable, provide tools for assessment, documentation and referral. The program includes pharmacist education that emphasizes the development of communication skills specific to issues surrounding medical cannabis, including stigma. The researcherse will pilot the “CannabisCareRx” program in Ontario, with the intent to make it available to pharmacies across Canada.
Coaching and custom app for patients with depression
Philippe Vincent of the University of Montreal and his research team are developing and piloting a smartphone app that’s supported by pharmacist coaching in an effort to achieve a quicker treatment response for patients experiencing a new episode of major depressive disorder. The randomized, unblinded, multicenter intervention trial (entitled “SAD-APP: Self-rating App for Depression Aided by Proactive Pharmacists”) will involve 300 patients at 30 community pharmacies. The app will regularly remind patients to use its self-assessment tools, and the results will be accessible to pharmacists in the coaching group. CFP is one of two funders for the project, contributing $50,000 from its Innovation Fund.