Pharmacoepidemiologic and pharmaceutical outcomes research to improve medication use, adherence, and outcomes in patients with arthritis

Arthritis consists of more than 100 types of conditions and is the most common cause of severe chronic pain and disability in Canada, affecting 4.4 million Canadians. People living with arthritis rely on medications to relieve symptoms, prevent their disease from worsening, and allow them to participate in daily activities. However, there are still many unanswered questions regarding these medications. For example: are patients agreeing with doctor recommendations and adhering to treatment;  how can health care providers support and educate arthritis patients about taking arthritis medications; what are the impacts of arthritis medications when taken during pregnancy?

The theme of Dr. De Vera’s research program is “Medication Matters” and her goal is to improve outcomes of medication taking in arthritis patients. In her research, Dr. De Vera will use a variety of methods including clinical trials conducted with pharmacists in the community to evaluate ways in which patients with arthritis, starting with gout, can be supported by so that they better take their medications. She will also use databases in British Columbia on health care visits and drug prescriptions to study how arthritis medications are being used by women with arthritis who are pregnant and how these medications affect the health of the mother and her baby.

By answering these urgent questions, Dr. De Vera’s research will help inform the optimal use of arthritis medications and directly impact people living with these diseases and their health care providers.