Prepare for HIV Dispensing

FREE CPD for community pharmacists: get ready to dispense HIV meds

Earlier this month, the Federal Minister for Health announced changes to the supply of HIV antiretroviral medicines that are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and accessed under the Highly Specialised Drugs Programme. 

From 1 July 2015, consumers will be able to access these medicines from the pharmacy of their choice, regardless of where they were prescribed. Consumers will no longer be required to attend a hospital to access their medicines.

This means that from 1 July 2015, all community pharmacies will be able to dispense HIV antiretroviral medicines.

SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley said “SHPA is pleased that access to antiretroviral medicines will be easier for patients who have difficulties in attending hospitals to have these medicines dispensed. There are many different antiretroviral medicines, which are used in many different combinations and with diverse toxicities and drug interactions.
Pharmacists involved in dispensing these medicines must understand these complexities and be equipped to dispense them safely and provide support for their patients who take these medicines.  Education programs for pharmacists delivered by experts in this field, including clinical pharmacists treating patients in hospitals, will be needed.”

SHPA has a Committee of Specialty Practice in Infectious Diseases whose Chair, Dr David Kong, said “We have SHPA members who have excellent clinical knowledge and experience in HIV medicines.  These individuals together with SHPA are well placed to support educational activities in this important area.”

SHPA is sharing a presentation by Alison Duncan, Senior Pharmacist in Infectious Diseases and HIV at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

The presentation, What’s new in HIV, is great for pharmacists who have little or no experience with dispensing HIV antiretroviral therapy. It also highlights the high-quality CPD material available from SHPA and the expert knowledge of its members.

We encourage other pharmacy organisations to share this presentation with their members.

You can view the presentation on the SHPA YouTube channel here

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