Canadian Minister of Health Rona Ambrose joined with Shoppers Drug Mart president and chief executive officer Domenic Pilla to launch the drug chain's new arthritis screening program.


Shoppers Drug Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart Arthritis Screening, arthritis screening program, Domenic Pilla, Rona Ambrose, Canadian Minister of Health, Pharmaprix, Arthritis Consumer Experts, Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists, Chery Koehn, John Esdaile, Carlo Marra, Canadian Institutes of Health Research














































































































































































































































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Shoppers Drug Mart launches arthritis screening program

September 9th, 2013

TORONTO – Canadian Minister of Health Rona Ambrose joined with Shoppers Drug Mart president and chief executive officer Domenic Pilla to launch the drug chain's new arthritis screening program.

Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose (center) reviews the new Shoppers Drug Mart Arthritis Screening tool with pharmacist Amanda Perry and John Esdaile of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada.

Shoppers Drug Mart said Monday that the program enables Canadians with arthritis to work with a pharmacist to help detect the disease early and manage their condition.

Plans call for pharmacists at more than 1,200 Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Canada to provide arthritis screening and information to consumers as part of a three-year partnership between Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, Arthritis Consumer Experts and the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada.

The Shoppers Drug Mart Arthritis Screening program includes a self-administered joint exam and questionnaire and helps patients with arthritis work with a pharmacist to monitor their symptoms and medication over time to prevent the disease from worsening.

"Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists are already actively involved in managing complex chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease and now arthritis," Pilla said in a statement. "By becoming increasingly involved in managing complex chronic diseases, pharmacists are helping to ease the burden on the health care system while also helping to improve patient care."

The drug chain reported that an estimated one in six Canadians ages 15 and older live with arthritis, and the disease's impact translates into lost productivity, absenteeism and higher health care spending, costing an estimated $33 billion (Canadian) annually.

"Our government supports initiatives that help Canadians better manage their health and improve their quality of life," Ambrose stated. "We are pleased to have funded research that contributed to the development of this innovative new program that will improve the quality of life of Canadians living with arthritis."

The program was developed from research at the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada with funding provided from the Canadian government via the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"The arthritis community is excited to be partnering with Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix. They're on main streets across Canada, right where the more than 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis live and work," commented Chery Koehn, Arthritic Consumer Experts founder and president. "Pharmacists are a key member of an arthritis patient's health care team. Now Shoppers' pharmacists will be able to share valuable arthritis information and detect or confirm arthritis with patients through innovative consumer education programs right at the pharmacy counter." 

Arthritis is the second most frequently mentioned condition as a cause of disability among men, but it's first among women. Shoppers Drug Mart noted that its arthritis screening program is the first and only program in Canada designed with women in mind because the disease affects two out of three, or 2.8 million, Canadian women.

"We're thrilled that Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix is putting our research to work by launching this important initiative in its stores," stated John Esdaile, scientific director of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada. "Early diagnosis of arthritis is critical to slowing the progress of this disease. That's why Arthritis Research Centre of Canada scientist Carlo Marra and his team have invested enormous energy in developing the screening exam tool for pharmacists. We hope Canadians will get screened through this program and get access to the care they need to improve their health and quality of life."

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