Support growing for moves to expand medication review funding
The Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacists (AACP) has joined other pharmacy groups in expressing support for this week’s announcement of more funding for medication reviews and other medication management programs.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the federal government would increase funding for medication management programs by $25.5 million, “including support for pharmacists to ensure more frequent medication reviews can occur”.
The funding announcement was part of the governments’ package of initiatives in response to the recent Aged Care Royal Commission’s Interim Report.
AACP Chair, Dr Stephen Carter, said he “applauded the Government initiative to increase medication review funding”.
Dr Carter noted that while the medication review program was only one part of the support structure for the aged care health system, increased funding and access to the program could only benefit the health care teams caring for older Australians.
“As one of the major credentialing bodies for accrediting pharmacists to conduct remunerated medication reviews in this country, the AACP supports this funding increase,” he said.
“[AACP] stands ready to work with government as it implements changes to the current medication management programs to ensure the safe and appropriate use of medicines, and improved health outcomes for all older Australians”.
The government’s announcement has already received support from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia.
“The government’s decision to allow more medication reviews to be delivered to a section of our community in dire need of this critical intervention is to be applauded,” said PSA national president, Associate Professor Chris Freeman.
“The PSA has long advocated for a cycle of care that delivers medication reviews conducted at a frequency and level that is dependent on patient needs, with meaningful follow-up, rather than being arbitrarily capped by funding restrictions.”
“Investment to improve access to Residential Medication Management Reviews (RMMRs) for aged care residents is welcome,” said SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels.
“We are mindful, however, that research shows, in many cases, the majority of pharmacy recommendations made through RMMRs do not translate into action by prescribers.
“To remedy this critical disconnection pharmacists must be included in residential aged care teams,” she argued