You Should Be Taking Your Pills!


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December 13, 2016 – The World Health Organization says the epidemic of not taking your pills is killing people and costing billions.  Dr. Mary De Vera, Research Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada and Professor at the University of British Columbia, has received $500,000 from the Government of Canada to tackle one of the most important and most ignored issues in health care today. This Canada Research Chair is awarded to exceptional, emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. This award is intended to support cutting-edge research, one breakthrough and discovery at a time.

Dr. De Vera, will tackle the epidemic of medication non-adherence or simply put, why patients don’t take their pills. This research will identify ways to support patients in taking their medication as well as generate evidence on the risks and benefits. She understands the importance of working with patients to get their input to ensure that the approaches and methods used are successful.

“As someone with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis I was terrified of the side-effects of the drugs. My doctor explained that failing to stop the inflammation would cause irreversible damage in my joints or possibly other complications that could kill me. I have a family to take care of – I couldn’t let that happen!” Tamara Komuniecki, Arthritis Patient.

Dr. De Vera is looking at strategies including educational resources, lifestyle modifications and technology such as electronic reminders or smart phone apps. These solutions will undoubtedly have application across all disease groups.

“Most people are more worried about the side-effects of taking pills.  Not taking pills can be much more dangerous by losing the benefit of their medications, having their disease worsen, and face complications which can lead to extra hospital visits, disability, or sadly even death!” says Dr. De Vera.



Arthritis Research Canada (ARC) was created in 2000 in recognition of the tremendous potential that research can bring to arthritis treatment in Canada and, indeed, the world. Building a strong multi-disciplinary research team of outstanding medical doctors and research scientists, ARC has facilities in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec dedicated to understanding, advancing and sharing knowledge about the causes of arthritis, and addressing issues that are impacting people with arthritis right now. The number of Canadians affected by one or more of the 100 forms of arthritis is projected to reach 5.2 million this year.


For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr. Mary De Vera, please contact:  

 Kevin Allen, Marketing and Communications

Arthritis Research Canada (ARC)

604-789-6602 or kallen@arthritisresearch.ca

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