October 2, 2015
No pharmacist prescriber role in PSA model
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has today stressed that its model for pharmacists to be integrated into GP clinics incorporates roles that are within the pharmacist’s current scope of practice.
Acting National President of the PSA, Michelle Lynch, was responding to reports of a position statement issued by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in which the organisation says the role of pharmacist prescriber would strengthen the link between general practice and the local community pharmacy as well as improving patient access.
“The model we have proposed does not incorporate the role of a pharmacist prescriber,” Ms Lynch said.
“PSA has been in discussions with GP groups, consumers and the Federal Government and these discussions did not include a pharmacist prescriber role as this is currently outside the scope of pharmacists’ practice.”
“While some international models for pharmacists in general practice do include pharmacist prescribing, it is important to acknowledge the different economic, policy and workforce issues in these settings.”
“PSA supports Health Workforce Australia’s work on health professional prescribing and is not seeking to introduce pharmacist prescribing with the implementation of a model for pharmacists in general practice.
“There are many important quality use of medicine activities that a pharmacist may undertake within the general practice setting which do not require the pharmacist to be a prescriber.
“A pharmacist working within this environment needs to value-add, filling current gaps in the provision of pharmaceutical care.”
Ms Lynch said there was strong evidence to support PSA’s flexible model of pharmacists working in GP clinics over and above other proposals.
“There is strong evidence supporting the value of PSA’s model and it is important to note it does not exclude local pharmacists currently working in community pharmacies from participating in the evidence based model – in fact we hope this will occur,” Ms Lynch said.
“I also need to stress that PSA wants to see new funding for this intervention so that it doesn’t reduce community pharmacy access to existing funding, as we believe that access to 6CPA services and funds should be ultimately prohibited within the practice protocol for the model.
“In addition, the pharmacist working in the clinic and the GP should have protocols to ensure that they work closely with local community pharmacies.
“The pharmacist’s role will be autonomous within the surgery – they will work as colleagues with the GPs.”
Ms Lynch said the practice protocol would need to ensure that patients could not be directed or channelled into specific pharmacies.
“We need a large-scale effectiveness/implementation trial to further progress the model, ideally through a new Budget allocation,” Ms Lynch said.
“PSA is committed to working with all stakeholders, including the Pharmacy Guild, to progress this model.”
October 1, 2015
Risky nomads coming to a pharmacy near you
Grey nomads, particularly first-timers, may be putting their health – and indeed their lives – at risk because of a lack of planning, preparation and education about their health and the medications they need.
In the cover story for the October issue of Australian Pharmacist, Catherine Waterman explores the world of grey nomads and the health challenges they carry with them on their migratory journeys around Australia.
With the start of October, many grey nomads are heading south to avoid the heat of summer.
According to Mackay pharmacist Karalyn Huxhagen:
“Some have very advanced end-of-life conditions, such as prostate cancer, leukaemia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Their partner is still well enough to do the driving and they stay on the road enjoying their life together as long as possible.”
Grey nomads are well known across Australia as elderly people who hire or buy caravans or motor homes to travel to iconic sites across northern Australia. However, due to a lack of precautions and understanding, first-timers can get caught in less-than-desirable and often-dangerous situations.
In Australia the peak migration season for grey nomads starts in autumn.
They start heading north in April, arriving in the far north in late May.
They head back south at the end of September before heat of summer sets in.
Also in the October issue of Australian Pharmacist is an original research paper, Are we at the crossroads or is it Groundhog Day? which explores the barriers, solutions and strategies for success in providing extended or new services in Australian community pharmacies from the perspective of community pharmacists.
The authors conclude that: “The barriers and aligned solutions well-known’ to the pharmacy profession continue to exist, begging the question: are pharmacists experiencing Groundhog Day?
Pharmacists need to focus on what works; owners and managers should reflect on the ‘whole of pharmacy approach’ as advised by pharmacists with service success.”
The multi award-winning Australian Pharmacist journal is distributed monthly to PSA members as a member benefit.
Selected excerpts, including the cover story, can be accessed at www.psa.org.au