One out of three Canadians relies on medications to manage their chronic conditions. Yet, challenges and problems associated with the proper use of medications contribute to adverse patient outcomes and an increased burden on our health care system.
Addressing these medication matters is the goal of Canada Research Chair Mary De Vera. One important matter is medication non-adherence, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an epidemic. Only half of patients with chronic conditions take their medications as prescribed, according to WHO.
As a health services researcher, De Vera studies both provider- and patient-targeted methods to help ensure the proper use of medications, including ways that health care providers can use electronic health technologies to care for their patients.
She examines how patient perceptions and input can be used to create strategies that will ensure people take their medicines as required. De Vera also studies the risks and benefits of drug therapy for special populations, including women with chronic disease who are pregnant.
By ensuring the appropriate and safe use of medications, De Vera's research will help improve the health and quality of life of the millions of Canadians who rely on medications to manage their chronic conditions.