Patients want to follow doctors’
instructions but sometimes can’t
underused, and they often have avery long relationship withpatients.”
Lowering drug premiums
The ICDC has teamed with AlbertaBlue Cross to lower drug premiumson certain medications and with anadvertising agency to help patientslearn the benefits of their prescribedmedications.
“Doctors don’t really have a broadselection of messages. They allbasically say ‘take this or …’ ” Tonellisays. “But advertisers craft a differentsort of message. An example couldbe, ‘If you take this medication, youwill be more likely to remain free ofdisability so that you can play withyour grandchildren.’ ”
As part of its evaluation, the research
is presented to the ICDC’s Patient
Advisory Committee, volunteers
with chronic diseases who share their
ideas with the researchers.
“We can give our input if we seeshortcomings or if something isreally good in the system and mustcontinue,” says committee memberLinda Marchuk, who has diabetes.
“They are willing to consult people in
lay positions, somebody who doesn’t
have the medical background. The
doctors in this group are very, very
keen to hear other ideas.”
While not all the findings are ready
to use, Marchuk hopes Albertans
with chronic diseases will get better
for more information about theInterdisciplinary Chronic DiseaseCollaboration, visit icdc.ca.
*A 2012 survey of nearly 2,000 western Canadians with one or more chronic diseases, includinghypertension, kidney disease,diabetes, stroke and heart disease,found a lack of money keeps 12 percent of them from getting the carethey need. For those with more thanone chronic disease, the rate jumpedto 21 per cent.
Patients who reported a financialbarrier were more likely to stoptaking their medications and, as aresult, were twice as likely to spendtime in hospital.
Dr. David Campbell, an AIHSresearcher-in-training and a surveyteam member, says the personalstories of the people behind thenumbers are telling.
“What struck me is that a lot of thesepatients are 100 per cent dedicatedto taking their medications, to thedetriment of everything else in theirlife,” says Campbell, who is also aPhD student with the Department ofCommunity Health Sciences at theUniversity of Calgary.
Campbell and his colleagues areworking on a project to see if givingpatients free medications couldimprove the health of people withchronic diseases and save thehealth-care system money.