1. Thank you for an interesting and thought-provoking article.
    When I worked for PSA in the pharmacy practice improvement program, offering health education was one of the ways I advocated to build community health literacy. Unfortunately, it is a time-consuming and costly activity for pharmacists to become involved in, and there are few ways of measuring the returns on time spent in outreach…especially when potential customers can take the advice to the nearest Chemist Warehouse for the cheapest solution.
    We need to build a business case based on pharmacoeconomics to show the benefits to the whole community (from funders through to patients, via decreased hospital admissions or GP visits) showing that increased usage of pharmacists can keep patients out of hospital, can keep them healthy and can do it at much lower cost (and without a wait time) than the current system that is locked almost entirely to medical practitioners (either in community or in the hospital) prescribing large quantities of drugs without the ability to monitor and/or aid compliance or decide whether the offered solution is culturally appropriate or acceptable to patients.
    Here are the stats confirming that 65% of the Australian population aged over 45 have 2 or more co-morbidities: http://www.aihw.gov.au/chronic-diseases/comorbidity/ see box ‘Comorbidity of selected chronic diseases, by age, 2014–15’
    As to pharmacist participation in policy making and evaluation may be pharmacists are not widely enough educated for that role – PwC did not have a single pharmacist in their Sydney-based national health team until about 7-8 years ago…

  2. Hi Jane, and thank you for your comments.
    Some of the writers at i2P have had management consulting training and experience over a long period of time.
    I mention this because the culture of management consulting is based in problem-solving and finding practical solutions.
    Management consultants are also notorious for not disclosing their own research, because unique knowledge is the intellectual asset that underwrites fee generation.
    Nothing dissipates faster or travels more quickly than good but free information.
    Aspects of a Health Literacy service have already been tested within a restricted network of i2P pharmacists and associates.
    A larger pilot study is planned for later this year.
    All elements of the system to deliver Health Literacy are planned to be self-funding through revenue generation and not be dependent on government funding.
    That is not to say government grants or seed funding would not be welcomed because it would speed up the entire process.
    Integration of a Health Literacy program with other existing health systems is also planned, particularly self-care and elements of primary health care services.
    A series of pilots involving interested pharmacies could provide the data for a business case for recurrent government funding.
    Given your personal interest and experience with PSA and Health Literacy programs I am sure that i2P associates would be willing to share knowledge with you under a confidentiality agreement.
    Peter Sayers

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