Supporting Innovation in Pharmacy for a Healthier Canada

Deprescribing, within a pharmacist's domain

OCTOBER 2018 - Community pharmacists can have a vital role in deprescribing, according to the Catalyst Study, which was funded by Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy.

When equipped with training and resources, pharmacists at all four pharmacies in the Catalyst Study were able to effectively integrate the use of deprescribing guidelines via various approaches. “There really is no one size fits all when it comes to successful implementation,” says Barbara Farrell, lead investigator and scientist at the Bruyère Research Institute in Ottawa, ON. She notes one pharmacy in particular, which spent a lot of time advertising the service and was able to bring in new patients wanting to learn more as a result.

“I was also really surprised by the involvement of all front-line staff and how engaged they were in figuring out which patients were eligible,” adds Farrell. Data generated from the study helped to populate a business model template that can be used to develop an in-depth business model for deprescribing in community pharmacies.

The Bruyère Deprescribing Guidelines Research Team developed a series of YouTube videos (about the guidelines and recommendations based on drug class) that have been viewed by people in more than 97 countries. The team also hosted a global symposium on the topic early this year, and created a repository for researchers and collaborators to share descriptions of their work and information about ongoing and upcoming deprescribing initiatives. This goal is to facilitate both information exchange and collaboration.

Going forward, Farrell and her team will be working with the Ontario government to look at the resources necessary for the viable implementation of deprescribing initiatives in community pharmacies and other practice settings.

For more information on this deprescribing initiative go to