This pilot project is an extensive study of how physicians, pharmacists, and consumers use and are affected by drug information. The two-year study developed and evaluated patient-friendly drug guides concerning three medical conditions: sore throat, osteoporosis, and heartburn. The product was unique because no independent and authoritative source of drug information for patients exists. Patients reported that the guides were easy to understand and influenced their decisions. Also, patients wanted to know reasons for taking a particular drug, treatment options, possible side effects, length of treatment, and costs. Physicians and pharmacists said they were concerned about information overload, confusion, and patient non-compliance but that the guides helped clarify treatment issues for patients.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.