British Columbia Pharmacy Association

British Columbia Pharmacy Association

March 22, 2006 12:17 ET

British Columbia Pharmacy Association: Auditor General Misses Mark on Plan to Get Best Value from PharmaCare

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 22, 2006) - The Auditor General's report on PharmaCare, released yesterday, has failed to account for the role that appropriate drug use could play in enhancing the value of health care dollars spent on medication, the British Columbia Pharmacy Association says.

"A focus on reducing costs at the prescription stage of drug administration is short-sighted," says Marnie Mitchell, CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association. "The Auditor General needs to look at the real potential for improving health care value and outcomes in developing better methods for appropriate drug use by patients," says Mitchell. "This is about much more than what drug is prescribed, it is about how drug therapy is managed on an ongoing basis."

The report, "Managing PharmaCare: Slow Progress Towards Cost-Effective Drug Use and a Sustainable Program," zeroes in on strategies to get physicians to prescribe the most affordable drug, without any mention of managing drug use after prescription.

The BC Pharmacy Association has been a long-time proponent of medication management and assessment. The association recently presented the government with a Seniors Medication Review proposal which would aim to provide seniors on multiple medications with the kind of advice and monitoring they need.

Patients who mistakenly overdose, improperly follow their instructions and who continue to use medications that have no effect, are not only misusing PharmaCare dollars, but are also endangering their health.

The report also highlighted understaffing issues as a reason that PharmaCare has not met expectations over the last few years. And while the BC Pharmacy Association recognizes that PharmaCare is under-resourced, it should be noted that they have made some significant accomplishments, even with limited resources.

Great progress has been made engaging with stakeholders over the past few years, and PharmaCare recently made a positive step towards addressing their human resource issues by appointing a new Assistant Deputy Minister, Bob Nakagawa.

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