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New MedsCheck Services

Archived Backgrounder

New MedsCheck Services

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario launched the MedsCheck program in April 2007 to ensure the safe and appropriate use of all types of medications. Ontario residents taking at least three prescription medications for a chronic condition qualify for an in-person medication review with a community pharmacist.

MedsCheck is a 30-minute, one-on-one consultation to discuss how a person's prescription, over-the-counter and alternative medications may be affecting each other. The goals of the MedsCheck medication review are to:

  • Create and maintain an accurate record of what medication(s) the patient is taking.  The record is intended to be a complete list of the patient's prescription, over-the-counter, and natural/homeopathic medications.
  • Investigate and if appropriate, correct any discrepancies between doctor orders and what the patient is taking.
  • Minimize potential adverse events and medication errors.

Ontario is adding three new services to the MedsCheck program:

  • MedsCheck Long-Term Care (LTC)
  • MedsCheck at Home
  • MedsCheck for Diabetes.

The MedsCheck Program for LTC Home Residents

In licensed Long-Term Care Homes, pharmacists will review patients' medications once every three months. Typically these patients are taking a minimum of three chronic prescription medications. The pharmacist will review information about a patient's medication selection, dosage, hours, allergies, as well as drug and food interactions. He or she will identify any possible drug related problems that may require a more in-depth therapy analysis and follow-up.

MedsCheck at Home

Patients who can't visit their community pharmacy in person -- due to their physical and/or mental health condition -- may qualify for the MedsCheck at Home program, which offers a one-on-one, in-home medication consultation with their community pharmacist. Patients must be taking a minimum of three chronic prescription medications. In addition to the assessment, the pharmacist will do a medicine cabinet clean-up during the visit, to get rid of unused or expired medications.

The MedsCheck Program for Ontarians living with Diabetes

The MedsCheck Diabetes program is an annual medication review by a community pharmacist for Ontarians living with type 1 or 2 diabetes.  The number of medications being used by the patient is not a consideration in the eligibility criteria. Individuals who are managing their diabetes without prescription medications are also eligible. The consultation includes training on the use and disposal of diabetic supplies, education and advice on medication adjustments and discussion on the impact of lifestyle changes. As many patients living with diabetes may have other medical conditions, pharmacists will provide advice on overall therapy management as well as for diabetes.

Pharmacy staff may identify patients with diabetes, through dispensing services and interactions with their patients. In addition, patients themselves, caregivers and relatives as well as health care professionals can refer patients to the pharmacy for this specific service.

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