Sustainable for patients,
Sustainable for health systems,
Sustainable for the planet.
The current health care system is over-prescribing medications. Studies suggest we over-prescribe some drug classes by 20-30%.
Prescribing practices can be influenced by various factors. However, overprescribing can occur as a result of not providing better alternatives, generalization of the use of the medicine for all patients with the condition, not recognizing condition changes, the patient no longer needing the medicine. There are potential harms to these medications, which need to be addressed and led to the formation of the Canadian medication safety coalition.
The financial cost of prescribed drug spending can be found in this Canadian Institute for Health Information document. (See page 6)
“Public drug program spending accounted for 43.6% of the $34.3 billion of prescribed drug spending in 2019, as reported in CIHI’s National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2019. The public share of prescribed drug spending varied among provinces, ranging from 31.7% in New Brunswick and 34.0% in Newfoundland and Labrador to 47.4% in Manitoba and 48.6% in Saskatchewan. Outside of the public sector, prescribed drug spending financed by private insurers was $12.7 billion (36.9%), with the remaining $6.8 billion (19.9%) financed by Canadian households.1 Public drug program spending does not include spending on drugs dispensed in hospitals or on those funded outside public drug programs (e.g., through cancer agencies).”
These costs have increased since 2019 and these numbers do not include over-the -counter medications. The money spent on over-prescribed medications could be moved to other areas of a strained Canadian health system.
Deprescribing and finding alternatives would improve human health, reduce health care spending, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Learn with us!
Hospital Pharmacies and the Climate Crisis
October 26th, 2022 at 8pm ET
The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, PEACH Health Ontario, and CASCADES partnered to welcome Dr. Shellyza Moledina Sajwani, for an overview of climate change's relevance to pharmacy. She specifically focuses on tangible objectives that can be completed within a hospital pharmacy setting, using the example of the Ottawa Hospital Pharmacy Environmental Stewardship Committee.
Pharmaceuticals in the Environment: Impacts on non-target organisms
March 28th, 2023 at 5:30 pm PST/8:30pm EST
Join the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, PEACH Health Ontario, and CASCADES for an interactive webinar with pharmacist Gigi Wong who will present on the topic of pharmaceuticals in the environment.
In this one-hour session Gigi will describe how pharmaceuticals enter the environment; detail the environmental classification for pharmaceuticals and the properties of persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity; as well as provide one example of wildlife that has been negatively impacted by the use of pharmaceuticals.
View the presentation slides HERE.