Dr. Kish Wasan
University of Saskatchewan & Board Member, Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences Foundation
Pharmacists today have an ever-increasing role in health delivery, contributing to better patient care and a more efficient health system. This expanded scope of practice is creating exciting new opportunities for practical research that’s improving the patient experience and health outcomes.
Dr. Kish Wasan, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and board member of the newly created Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences Foundation, says that pharmacy has evolved from a product-based service to one that’s patient-based. “Pharmacists help patients with their diabetes management, bone disease, and smoking cessation, and now we even diagnose and treat minor ailments,” he says. “This is fuelling interest in pharmacy research across Canada.”
Supporting research today leads to better outcomes tomorrow
Dr. Wasan cites several initiatives that will have a positive impact on patients, including the work of Dr. Ross Tsuyuki at the University of Alberta, who’s researching hypertension screening and management, and whose study outlines how comprehensive long-term pharmacist care for Canadians with hypertension, including patient education and prescribing, will improve health outcomes and lead to $15 billion in cost savings to healthcare.
Dr. Melanie McLeod, a Regina pharmacist operating one of the few mental health pharmacies in Canada, is demonstrating the positive impact pharmacists can have in supporting patients with mental health issues. Vancouver’s Dr. Corey Nislow from the University of British Columbia, whose research on personalized medicine and drug-metabolizing enzymes will allow doctors to better tailor treatment and medications for each patient individually, is also making an impact. Research done by Dr. David Blackburn at the University of Saskatchewan is also seeking to find ways to improve drug adherence.
“It’s hard to get research funding for these types of projects, which led us to form the Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences Foundation,” says Dr. Wasan. “We encourage the public and the philanthropic community to support the foundation so we can raise money to fund innovative research and help the next generation of pharmacy trainees, including those from Indigenous communities.”