Back to Top Pharmacist developed app to reduce drug interactions, improve HIV patient care - The Ottawa Hospital Website scanner for suspicious and malicious URLs


Pharmacist developed app to reduce drug interactions, improve HIV patient care

Pharmacist Pierre Giguère

Pharmacist Pierre Giguère helped develop a free web and mobile app that helps health-care professionals and the public check for drug interactions.

Pharmacists and members of the public can quickly check the safety and compatibility of HIV and hepatitis C drugs with other commonly prescribed medications, thanks to a new app that Ottawa Hospital Pharmacist Pierre Giguère helped develop.

“We wanted to create a tool that was not just more user friendly, but also helped guide other pharmacists and other health-care providers in order to provide medications in a safe way,” said Giguère.

The number of medications available to HIV patients has grown tremendously over the years – and so too has the need to manage drug compatibility. Giguère, along with fellow pharmacists Alice Tseng of Toronto and Michelle Foisy of Edmonton, teamed up with a Toronto design firm to develop the HIV/HCV Drug Therapy Guide. It’s available at, or from Google Play or the Apple Store.

The free web and mobile app uses a powerful search engine to help health-care professionals and the public check for drug interactions between HIV or hepatitis C medications and other commonly used drug classes.

The app has already proven useful for pharmacists caring for inpatients, said Jennifer Spencer, Professional Practice Coordinator for Pharmacy.

HIV app Pierre Giguere - over the shoulder

“If I entered drug A and B into a less-powerful app and received a negative interaction, I would have to think of and enter a drug C, and maybe a drug D and E before I found a safe combination,” Spencer said. “With this app, the app itself suggests drug C, D or E for me, so I can spend less time considering options and more time seeing patients.”

The app is regularly updated with new information from product monographs, published literature and recent HIV and hepatitis conference abstracts.

“The app saves me a lot of time,” said Spencer.

Its popularity is growing. As of November 2018, the mobile and web app received more than 3,600 unique visits and provided information for 4,000 drug interactions. The app has garnered wins in the 2016-2017 Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists Specialties in Pharmacy Practice Award and the 2016 Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacist Ontario Branch Innovative Information Technology Award. A 2.0 version incorporating a better user experience is expected to be released in 2019.

This app is just one example of how Giguère and other pharmacists live The Ottawa Hospital’s vision to “provide each patient with the world-class care, exceptional service and compassion we would want for our loved ones.”

Giguère also provides high-quality follow-up care, advocates for patient access to medication, liaises with other health-care professionals inside the hospital and in the community, and provides patient education, including medication counselling.

“My job is to find the optimal treatment for people with HIV, and to tailor the treatment to each person,” he said.

It’s not just the quality of the information that improves patient care, but it’s also the quality of the connection between the pharmacist and patient, said Giguère.

“I’ve seen some patients for over 20 years. People know me, and they ask to see me. I’m glad I can offer that continuity of care and that they feel comfortable to reach out to me.”


Comment on this post

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You might also like…

New gender-affirming surgery clinic now accepting patients

The Ottawa Hospital’s new gender-affirming surgery clinic is truly one of a kind. Launched in September 2023, it’s the only clinic in Ontario to offer trans and non-binary patients facial, top and bottom procedures. Plastic Surgeon Dr. Nicholas Cormier and his team are happy to announce that they are now accepting patient referrals from physicians.

Mental health professionals and paramedics team up to help people in crisis

Seven days a week, a mental health professional from The Ottawa Hospital hits the road with a paramedic from the Ottawa Paramedic Service. Together, they respond to 911 calls for mental health emergencies across the city. Social worker Cindy Gill and paramedic Scott Farrell share how the Mental Wellbeing Response Team provides quality care for patients out in the community.

“Stewards of hormones”: Our Gender Diversity Specialty Clinic guides medically complex patients on their affirmation journey

Often, trans and non-binary patients struggle to find health-care providers to support them on their affirmation journey. It is even more difficult for patients with complex medical needs. That’s why we launched our Gender Diversity Specialty Clinic, one of the first of its kind in Canada.

The comfort of home: Home Dialysis Program empowers patients to live more independent lives

For people living with kidney failure, the most ideal form of dialysis treatment is done in the place where they are most comfortable—their home. Five years ago, we transformed our Home Dialysis Program, enhancing quality of life for our patients, welcoming more patients, and turning it into a model for dialysis programs across the province.

The Ottawa Hospital administers world-first in-utero treatment for rare genetic disorder

Before Ayla was born, she had already made history. Last year at The Ottawa Hospital, she received a world-first in-utero treatment for Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder that had taken the lives of two of her siblings. Now 17 months old, Ayla is healthy and happy.

A look to the future: Six innovations coming to our campuses

As we set out to build one of the most advanced hospitals in the country, we’re often asked what we have planned for our existing campuses. From installing new equipment to opening long-term care homes, we have a number of projects in the works to enhance and expand our world-class services at all our locations.

This website gives you common facts, advice and tips. Some of it may not apply to you. Please talk to your doctor, nurse or other health-care team member to see if this information will work for you. They can also answer your questions and concerns.