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Prescription Drug Atlases

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The University of British Columbia’s Centre for Health Services and Policy Research has released two atlases that depict the use of prescription drugs in Canada and British Columbia. Both are available in pdf format.

The Canadian RX Atlas (pdf) shows prescription drug use by province (territories are not included) and maps drug use by cardiovasculars, psychoterapeutics, chlosteral agents and 7 other categories. The 80 page atlas contains numerous maps, all of the same extent and style. It would seem that New Brunswick is the most medicated of the provinces while Saskatchewan is the least. The mpas have one fault - that is, they are essentially bitmapped images placed inside a pdf. The low resolution of the images makes them a little difficult to read.

The British Columbia RX Atlas (pdf) is of a style similar to the Canadian RX Atlas. However, the maps are cartograms that are meant to reflect the relative size of the health service delivery areas that the province is divided up in. As cartograms they work fairly well but they require a bit of time to fully understand. Themes mapped in this 67 page atlas are similar to that of the Canadian RX Atlas with a few additions. The maps are clear and easy to read. Both atlases come with numerous graphs and charts.

Read the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research’s press release on the 2 atlases.

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