BE A.W.A.R.E : Pharmacists Ease Confusion and Create Relief

For Immediate Release                                                                           

Thursday, March 8, 2012

BE A.W.A.R.E : Pharmacists Ease Confusion and Create Relief

Dartmouth, NS - As Pharmacy Awareness starts its fifth day, pharmacists across Nova Scotia are helping patients BE A.W.A.R.E and get a Basic Medication Review.

Patients today often have a number of doctors involved in the their care, including  a family doctor and a number of specialists. With so much information coming their way, patients are frequently in need of guidance  about which medications they should be taking, how much and when.

Pharmacist Sandeep Sodhi  owns Village Family PharmaChoice in Truro, Nova Scotia.  A practicing pharmacist, Mr. Sodhi sees every day the value Basic Medication Reviews bring to people's lives. Often people can get confused about the medications they are taking and misunderstandings can occur. Through a Basic Medication Review, a pharmacist can help ease that confusion considerably.

"Patient's feel more confident to manage their medication on their own," says Mr. Sodhi. "If they need more help we can offer them blister packaging."

Blister packaging, often referred to as compliance packaging, is a tool pharmacists can offer patients who are on multiple medications that have to be taken over the course of a day. The completely organized and labeled sheets contain small compartments for pills. The pills are held into place with a layer of foil  on the back.  These specially packaged pills are easy to access, important for people who have problems opening pill bottles, and organized  so that patients and caregivers can easily know what pills to take and when.

"At the end of a Basic Medication Review patients frequently express a sense of relief and less confusion," says Mr. Sodhi.

The 20-25 minute Basic Medication Review session goes beyond just reviewing prescribed medications. The pharmacist also looks at any over the counter medications, vitamins or other health supplements a patient may be taking.  It gives a pharmacist the chance to really get to know his or her patient.

The theme for Pharmacy Awareness Week 2012 is "BE A.W.A.R.E." It is based on an  acronym developed by pharmacist Karen Fraser, who works at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst. "I think people everywhere should be reminded of how important it is to be their own best advocate for their medication regime," said Ms. Fraser. Each letter represents important advice that patients should follow.

A - Ask your pharmacist about your medications.

W - Work with your pharmacist to keep your medication records current.

A - Always keep this list updated if something changes in your regimen.

R - Report to your pharmacist when doses are changed in hospital.

E - Educate yourself on what you are taking and why.


As part of Pharmacy Awareness Week, participating pharmacies are offering an opportunity to win a Basic Medication Review. For more information on participating pharmacies and the contest, please visit


For more information, please contact:

Amy Wagg
Director of Communications
Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 422-9583, ext 4