BE A.W.A.R.E : Pharmacy Awareness Week Starts Today

For Immediate Release                                                                                        

Sunday, March 4, 2012

BE A.W.A.R.E : Pharmacy Awareness Week Starts Today


Dartmouth, NS - Pharmacy Awareness Week kicks off today, Sunday, March 4. In celebration of the week, pharmacies from across Nova Scotia are asking people to "BE A.W.A.R.E."

"As more complicated drug therapies come on the market and patients take more medications it becomes more and more important for patients to work with their pharmacists to make sure that their drug therapies are optimized," says Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia CEO Allison Bodnar.

A.W.A.R.E. is 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," says 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.

One way patients can become more aware is to take advantage of the new Basic Medication Review Service now offered in pharmacies. In a 20-25 minute session with the pharmacist, a patient will have all of his or her medications reviewed. This review goes beyond just prescribed medications. The pharmacists also looks at any over the counter medications, vitamins or other health supplements a patient may be taking. 

Pharmacist and Pharmacy Manager Michelle Wyman at the Bedford at the Ravines Pharmasave says that they have had some surprising results since starting to offer the service.

"Some patients have underlying issues, for example uncontrolled anxiety, that are discovered during the medication review.  Often times these need to be addressed by their physician... they may need a new prescription to treat the issue," says Ms. Wyman.  Many of these patients have returned to the pharmacy to thank Ms. Wyman for helping them move forward and improve their health and well-being.

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