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BC Federation of Retired Union

BC FORUM Recommended Event

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Canadian Deprescribing Network webinar, “Is your mom on drugs? If we knew then what we know now.”


Tuesday, January 29, 2019, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EASTERN TIME


This is a FREE online event. When you register, you'll receive an email with information for how to join the webinar from your computer or phone.



Join Johanna Trimble and Alan Cassels for a discussion about what to do if you suspect an elder is taking too many pills.

Johanna Trimble is a passionate patient advocate and a member of several local, national and international patient groups. Her emphasis is working to prevent over-medication of older adults and helping to improve home-based, team-delivered, coordinated community care. She is the public member on the BC Polypharmacy Risk Reduction provincial initiative and the Geriatrics and Palliative Care Committee for Doctors of BC. She is a member of the Oversight Committee of the Therapeutics Initiative. Johanna is an honorary lecturer in the Department of Family Practice (Community Geriatrics), co-teaching first year medical students at the University of British Columbia. She also co-teaches a class for the PharmD program at UBC.

Johanna Trimble will tell her personal story of how she and family members worked together to identify and stop a potentially fatal drug interaction experienced by her mother-in-law Fervid Trimble.

Alan Cassels has been immersed in pharmaceutical policy research and healthcare journalism for 24 years, mostly researching and writing about how prescription drugs are regulated, marketed, prescribed and used.

The main focus of Cassels’ writing is the reality of ordinary people who are often facing the sharp end of the pharmaceutical marketing machine which is increasingly selling us tests, treatments and theories of disease that turn more and more of us into patients.

His books include Selling Sickness: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning us All into Patients (co-written with Ray Moynihan), The ABCs of Disease Mongering: An Epidemic in 26 Letters, and Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease.

He believes that humans need clean, clear health information as urgently as they need clean water. His recent book, The Cochrane Collaboration: Medicine’s Best Kept Secret (published in 2015) weighs into the history of a stellar international organization which produces some of the world’s highest quality medical information.

In 2018 Alan Cassels joined UBC’s Therapeutics Initiative as their Communications Director, producing therapeutics letters and other pharmaceutical-related education for doctors and pharmacists.

Researcher and author Alan Cassels, who has studied and written about the problems of multiple drug use in older people, will help tease out the lessons learned from this story in order to help participants prepare to deal with similar circumstances themselves.

This interactive session with Johanna and Alan will allow plenty of time for questions and briefly discuss:

• Why you should be careful about any new drug added to a seniors’ drug regime.

• What can happen when a new drug is added to the medications list.

• Signs of adverse drug reactions or drug interactions and where you can turn for help.

• How drugs are developed and tested and why we have to be particularly cautious when prescribing drugs to older people.  

• What Johanna’s family could have done then, if they knew what they know now.

• What you could do to help when you suspect there is a problem with prescription drugs in your older family or friends.


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