Commence pharmacy trial program now: Demarte

health professionals lined up: Primary Health Networks

PSA national president Joe Demarte has urged Health Minister Sussan Ley to commence the pharmacy trial program as a matter of urgency, at the PSA15 conference today.

“These include minor ailments, screening and risk assessments, reconciliation of medicines after discharge from hospital, and medication management reviews,” he said in his opening plenary speech.

“Every day, some 342,000 Australians visit a GP, 23,000 people are admitted to hospital and 17,000 people present to an emergency department at a major public hospital.

“If every community pharmacy prevented only one person per day presenting at an emergency department, this would reduce the number of people presenting at emergency departments by 30%.

“Wouldn’t that be a great result?”

The Australian pharmacy industry is “on notice” that it needs to provide evidence-based data to back up its involvement in professional programs, he said.

Demarte congratulated Minister Ley on the signing of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement and on the doubling of the budget for professional pharmacy services, from $600 million to $1.26 billion.

“I would like to think that PSA had something to do with this decision, because that figures is exactly what PSA advocated for in our 6CPA discussion paper released this time last year,” he said.

“You have shown enormous faith in our profession, and on behalf of the people in this room and on behalf of the broader profession, allow me to assure you that we will do our utmost not let you down.”

Despite the achievements so far in 6CPA, there is still much to be done, Demarte said.

“We are on notice that we will be rewarded for evidence-based results.

“New programs will need to be trialled; standards and guidelines will need to be updated – and perhaps rewritten in some cases.

“In addition, existing programs like Home Medicines Reviews, Clinical Interventions and Medschecks will need to be better targeted to those most at risk in the population.”

He said PSA wants to see evidence-based pharmacist care, delivered ethically, and to the highest standard, as outlined in its 6CPA document.

“At PSA, we see pharmacists engaging with patients and providing collaborative primary care; we see pharmacies as healthcare destinations.

“PSA has invested heavily in our Health Destination Pharmacy program, which we are launching at this conference.

“We believe it will equip community pharmacists for their evolving role in primary health care.

“Pharmacists want to be part of the solution.

“PSA wants to be part of the solution.”

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