Chronic Pain MedsCheck… it’s here

Lang Lang Pharmacy owner Mr Tian Low, Guild Victorian President Anthony Tassone, Health Minister Greg Hunt, Guild National President George Tambassis
Lang Lang Pharmacy owner Mr Tian Low, Guild Victorian President Anthony Tassone, Health Minister Greg Hunt, Guild National President George Tambassis.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has announced services have started under the Chronic Pain MedsCheck Trial

Participating community pharmacies that have completed the required training will start recording trial services using the Chronic Pain MedsCheck Trial Software from GuildLink.

The trial is being conducted at more than 1,600 pharmacies across Australia with community pharmacists being encouraged to build relationships with other health professionals who provide support for patients with chronic pain.

The Chronic Pain MedsCheck Trial was announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt in January, but then experienced significant delays due to the need to meet Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.

It was attacked by doctors in September after the Guild published a schedule of trial payment fees.

On Monday Mr Hunt took a moment out of his 500km Walk for Autism through his electorate of Flinders to visit the Lang Lang Pharmacy in Victoria, to discuss the trial with pharmacy owner Tian Low as well as Guild officials.

Guild Victorian branch president Anthony Tassone said the visit was a “great opportunity” to speak with the Minister about the commencement of the Chronic Pain MedsCheck trial, for which the Lang Lang pharmacy is one of the participating sites.

“The Chronic Pain MedsCheck trial will be another opportunity for community pharmacy to demonstrate our ever important role in primary care,” said Mr Tassone.

“Community pharmacists as medicine experts are perfectly placed to help patients improve their understanding of medications used in pain management and help patients form realistic expectations of the benefits that analgesics can provide as well as refer to other healthcare professionals where appropriate.

“With an estimated one in five Australians living with chronic pain (for at least three months), there is a real need to help provide patients the necessary advice and support to help them manage this potentially debilitating condition.

“The Guild welcomes the commitment by the Federal Coalition government in the Pharmacy Trial Programs through to help assess the expanding role that community pharmacy can play in primary and preventative care.”

The Guild says the role of community pharmacies in the trial includes:

  • supported self -management of patients taking medication who are dealing with chronic pain for more than three months through pharmacist advice;
  • pharmacy-based evaluation of patients’ medicine;
  • provision of an action plan which incorporates education, self-management and referral to other health professionals where additional support is required; and
  • three-month follow up after the initial service.

The service includes the provision of information about accessing additional support, and where appropriate a referral to the patient’s GP or allied health professional.

In addition, pharmacies will receive comprehensive trial packs to support their interaction with patients and adherence to the research components of the trial.

The CPD accredited online training modules will provide specialised training to community pharmacies who are conducting trial interventions with eligible chronic pain patients.

The Chronic Pain MedsCheck Trial training modules educate pharmacists on the complex condition of chronic pain, including both medicines and non-pharmacological management strategies. 

The program is funded by the Australian Government under the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement to trial the delivery of a specialised Chronic Pain MedsCheck within community pharmacy.

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