Medication Safety



  1. Drug Database
  2. Medical Conditions
  3. Natural Products
  4. Community Support
  5. Common Medication Problems


With the number of seniors in Canada, age 65 and older, set to double over the next 25 years and the number of Canadians living with chronic disease expected to reach a staggering 9.8 million by 2036

Medication Adherence will continue to play an increasingly important role in improving patient outcomes and reducing costs within the overburdened Canadian healthcare system.

Opportunity to make a positive impact

These growing segments of the population are more likely to take prescription medications:

81% of adults 65 and older take one or more
prescription drugs a day

  • 29% take five or more medications on a regular basis
  • Adherence is inversely proportional to the number of times a day a patient must take his/her medication each day (once/day = 80% compliance vs. 50% four times/day)
  • 50% of Canadians do not take their prescription medications as prescribed

Medication adherence is defined as “the extent to which patients follow provider recommendations about day-to-day treatment with respect to timing, dosage and frequency”. Recent statistics demonstrate the gap in patients’ ability to follow these recommendations and furthermore highlight the negative outcomes of this behavior. Impact on patient outcomes

Each year, drug non-compliance is the cause of:

  • 10% of all hospital admissions
  • 25% of hospital admissions for the elderly
  • 23% of all nursing home admissions

Average adherence for patients with chronic illnesses is relatively poor

  • High cholesterol: 57%
  • High blood pressure: 48%
  • Diabetes: 43%

Adverse drug reactions are a leading cause of patient mortality.

Not only will closing the medication adherence gap improve the quality of healthcare, promote enhanced patient outcomes and encourage better chronic care management but it will also significantly reduce the overall cost to Canadian healthcare system.

Financial impact on healthcare system

  • Estimated annual cost of medication non-adherence to the Canadian healthcare system is between $7 billion and $9 billion
  • These costs include additional physician visits, extra laboratory tests, additional drug therapy, hospital ER visits, hospital admissions and short-term disability insurance payments.

Percentage using prescription medication