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Tracy Antone
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Emily King
NIHB Navigator North
emily.king@coo.org

Tobi Mitchell
NIHB Navigator South
tobi.mitchell@coo.org

 

NIHB: Prescription Drug Trends - 10 Year Analysis

This report is intended to support Chiefs, Health Directors and Program Managers in their health planning. It supplements the information provided in each community’s annual Drug Utilization Report. By aggregating all of Ontario First Nations data together, a more detailed analysis of trends by age groups and gender is feasible.

The report is organized into the following sections:
1. Trends in opiate use
2. Trends in use of medications to treat diabetes
3. Trends in use of medications to treat heart conditions
4. Trends in use of mental health medications by adults
5. Trends in use of mental health medications by youth
6. Trends in use of inhalers to treat respiratory conditions
7. Trends in use of smoking cessation products
8. Trends in use of medications and devices in reproductive and sexual health

These sections were chosen since the medications may, in part, reflect underlying health conditions. However, caution is warranted in directly comparing drug use trends to the prevalence of health conditions because: Drugs are often used to treat conditions outside of their official “therapeutic classification”. For example, ASA is classified as a pain killer, but is most often used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Not all people with a health condition have been diagnosed. For example, many people with high blood pressure and diabetes are unaware that they have these conditions. Women are more likely to seek health care services than men, and may therefore be more likely to receive prescription medications. People who have been diagnosed with a health condition and prescribed a drug may or may not choose to fill that prescription at a pharmacy. Treatment guidelines change over time, which can change prescribing patterns (either upwards or downwards) with no change to the actual prevalence of the condition that they are treating.

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