About Us

This website was developed and is supported by Dr. Barbara Farrell and Dr. Cara Tannenbaum — a pharmacist and physician who work with older people and are concerned about the risks associated with medications in this population — and their research teams at the Bruyère Research Institute (Ottawa) and Université de Montréal.

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision for this website is to share and exchange information about deprescribing approaches and deprescribing research with the public, health care providers and researchers.                    

Our mission is to offer:

  1. Tools to help patients and providers participate in deprescribing
  2. Information about ongoing and completed deprescribing initiatives and research                  projects in Canada
  3. Links to people around the world who are interested in deprescribing

“Safely reducing or stopping medications is a team effort.”

Barbara, Lisa and Cara

Our Team

Researchers

Barbara Farrell

Barbara Farrell

Pharmacist, Researcher

Dr. Barbara Farrell is passionate about deprescribing – especially for frail older adults. As a pharmacist working in the Bruyère Geriatric Day Hospital since 1999, she sees many older people often taking more than 20 medications a day. Working closely with physicians, an interprofessional team and the patients and their families, she is able to help reduce or stop medications safely. More frequently than not, this helps patients feel better, be less confused, fatigued and dizzy. These experiences prompted Dr. Farrell to pursue research in the field of deprescribing and models that improve medication-related care for older people.

Dr. Farrell is a Senior Investigator with the Bruyère Research Institute (BRI) and the CT Lamont Primary Health Care Research Centre, an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo. She is also a member of the Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network and is co-founder of the Canadian Deprescribing Network.

Dr. Farrell’s research team developed rigorous methodology for constructing evidence-based “deprescribing guidelines” and have developed related tools that are now used worldwide. The guidelines and tools have been endorsed and supported by organizations such as the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, Choosing Wisely Canada, CADTH, the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Dr Farrell continues to conduct research examining the implementation and effect of using deprescribing guidelines.

In 2011, Dr. Farrell was named the Canadian Pharmacist Association’s “Pharmacist of the Year” for her work in pharmacist education, patient-centred care and research. In 2018, she received the Ontario Pharmacists Association “Exceptional Achievement in Research and Academia” award, and in 2019, the CIHR Betty Havens Prize for Knowledge Translation in Aging.

Lisa McCarthy

Lisa McCarthy

Pharmacist, Researcher

Grounded in her practice as a pharmacist, Dr. Lisa McCarthy leads research focused on medication management and the continuity of health care. Her goals are to reduce medication-related harm and optimize people’s, particularly older adults, experiences with their medications.

Dr. McCarthy is a Clinician Scientist with the Institute for Better Health and Pharmacy Department at Trillium Health Partners and an Associate Professor with the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Family and Community Medicine. She is also an affiliate investigator with the Bruyère Research Institute, Women’s College Research Institute, and an Adjunct Associate Professor with the School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo. Dr. McCarthy’s current practice is with Seniors Care Services at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ontario.

Dr. McCarthy has been a long-time member of the Deprescribing Guidelines Research team at Bruyère. She co-leads with Dr. Farrell, research initiatives in the area of prescribing cascades and deprescribing in long-term care. She is an executive member of the Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network and member of the Canadian Deprescribing Network. She is co-leading development of a special interest group for the US Deprescribing Research Network. In 2020-21, she co-chaired Ontario Health (Quality)’s Medication Safety Quality Standard Advisory Committee.

Dr. McCarthy has received awards for mentorship and recognizing the accomplishments of strong teams that she has led. In 2021, Dr. McCarthy received the Ontario Pharmacists Association “Exceptional Achievement in Research and Academia” award.

 

Cara Tannenbaum

Cara Tannenbaum

Geriatrician, Researcher

Dr. Cara Tannenbaum is a leader in cutting-edge geriatric research both nationally and internationally. As a Professor in the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal, she became the inaugural Chair of the Michel Saucier Endowed Fund in Geriatric Pharmacology, Health and Aging in 2008, and won the CIHR Betty Haven’s Knowledge Transfer Prize in Aging in 2013 for her work on the EMPOWER study: “Eliminating Medications through Patient Ownership of End Results”. Her EMPOWER brochure for reducing benzodiazepines has since been translated into 10 languages worldwide.  As the principal investigator on a CIHR Partnership for Health System Improvement Grant, she co-founded the Canadian Deprescribing Network, and continues to conduct deprescribing trials involving patients, pharmacists and primary care practitioners across Canada.

In 2015 Dr. Tannenbaum received a Y Woman of Distinction Award for Health, and was appointed Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health. She is dedicated to her clinical practice as a geriatrician, women’s health specialist and Director of the Geriatric Incontinence Clinic at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, which fuels her vision for her patient-oriented research program.

Partners

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The Bruyère Research Institute supports investigators who contribute to a better, more responsive health care system that delivers the best care to patients, residents and families. The Institute is a proud partner of Bruyère Continuing Care, the University of Ottawa, as well as other organizations and provides solutions to improve the health and health care of aging and vulnerable Canadians. The Institute’s research focuses primarily on evidence, health system evaluation, brain health, geriatrics and rehabilitation, primary care, palliative care, and global health.

 

The Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network (OPEN) is a team of multidisciplinary researchers working together to evaluate the quality, outcomes and value of medication management services that pharmacists and other healthcare professionals provide. We are fostering knowledge translation and exchange, building capacity in medication management research, and addressing the needs of Ontario’s vulnerable populations.

IUGM-MSC

The Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM) is the Quebec leader in clinical practice, specialized care, health promotion and development of knowledge related to aging and seniors’ health.

Its research center is renowned as the largest of its kind throughout French-speaking countries, and brings together activities from contribution of numerous teams from various healthcare sectors.

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The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) was created in 2000 under the authority of the CIHR Act, and is the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency. CIHR’s mandate is to “excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system.

“In 2013, $419 million was spent on potentially inappropriate medications for seniors outside of hospital settings, in six Canadian provinces.”

Morgan S, Hunt J, Rioux J, Proulx D, Weymann D, Tannenbaum C. Frequency and cost of potentially inappropriate prescribing for older adults: a cross sectional study. CMAJ Open 2016;4(2):E346-351.