Partnerships to prevent harm from dangerous side effects of drugs

Johanna Trimble became an advocate for adverse drug event (ADE) awareness after having more than one family member affected by a problem medication. 

ADEs occur when a person experiences harmful side effects from a prescribed medication. Trimble’s sister-in-law, Marilyn, passed away after a medication that had previously harmed her was accidentally re-prescribed by her general practitioner, who was unaware of Marilyn’s previous adverse reaction to the medication.

Trimble’s stepmother was also accidentally re-prescribed medication that had previously harmed her, which was luckily caught in time by Trimble who had kept detailed information on her stepmother’s medications.

In 2010, Trimble joined the Patient Voices Network, administered by the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council (BCPSQC) and composed of caregivers, patients and their families. She is also a member of several patient advocacy organizations, including the Canadian Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing Network, as well as the primary care network in her local community.

Then, in 2016, Trimble met Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute researcher Dr. Corinne Hohl at a BCPSQC conference. The two began discussing ADEs, and later Trimble became a public partner with her ActionADE research project.

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