Guild wants pharmacy to play a key role in chronic health management, despite resistance
Community pharmacy should be empowered to play a vital role in the management and prevention of chronic disease, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia believes.
Guild national executive director David Quilty and Victorian branch president Anthony Tassone have appeared before the House of Representatives inquiry on chronic disease prevention and management in primary health care to emphasise the key role they believe pharmacy can play in this area.
In its submission to the inquiry, held by the House Standing Committee on Health, the Guild coordinating the health system in an affordable way to manage chronic health “will only be facilitated by better alignment and coordination within the Federal Government though the Community Pharmacy Agreement”.
State/Territory governments as well as with Primary Health Networks and private health insurers would also play a vital role, the Guild submission said.
However plans for greater involvement by community pharmacy needed “effective referral systems between all health professionals where expanding skills are embraced rather than resisted,” the submission states.
Among the key roles the Guild feels pharmacy could play are:
- Addressing medicine adherence issues.
- Risk assessment and screening – via a health and wellness check including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, body measurement, lung function, kidney disease assessment and addressing lifestyle risk factors.
- A structured minor ailments scheme to provide convenience and more timely treatment t patients, and cost effectiveness to government.
- Care transition.
- Point of care testing – in particular it outlined a role in anticoagulant management.
- After-hours care.
“Community pharmacy transformation has already started in other countries,” the submission states. “In Australia… It has the capacity, skills and willingness to deliver a considerably broader set of services and functions.”
The Guild leaders reminded the inquiry that the 6CPA had an allocated $1.2 billion in funding for pharmacy-based health services, according to industry newsletter PharmaDispatch.