Integrate non-dispensing pharmacists, urges AMA


doctor shaking hands

The AMA is calling on the Federal Government to support its proposal to integrate non-dispensing pharmacists into GP-led primary care teams.

During Family Doctor Week, AMA president Dr Michael Gannon says the Pharmacist in General Practice Incentive Program, developed in consultation with PSA, would enhance the care provided to patients, provide new career opportunities for pharmacists, and create significant Budget savings across the whole health system.

“Integrating non-dispensing pharmacists within general practices as part of a GP-led multidisciplinary health team would improve patient health,” Dr Gannon says.

“Under the AMA proposal, pharmacists within general practice could assist with medication management, provide patient education on their medications, and support GP prescribing with advice on medication interactions and newly available medications.

“Evidence shows that the AMA plan would reduce unnecessary hospitalisations from adverse drug events, improve prescribing and use of medicine, and governments would save more than $500 million.

“When the Government is looking to make significant savings to the Budget bottom line, the AMA’s proposal delivers value without compromising patient care or harming the health sector,” Dr Gannon says.

The plan is supported by an independent analysis from Deloitte Access Economics, which identified that the proposal would deliver $1.56 in savings for every dollar invested in it.

The Deloitte Access Economics analysis shows that, if 3100 general practices took up the PGPIP, substantial savings to the health system would include:

  • a saving of $1.266 billion due to fewer hospital admissions related to the use of medications;
  • PBS savings of $180.6 million because of better use of medications and improved compliance;
  • patient savings of $49.8 million from reduced co-payments for medical consultations and medicines; and
  • MBS savings of $18.1 million from fewer GP attendances due to adverse reactions to drugs.

The AMA has developed this model in consultation with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, and other key GP organisations have also given their support to the concept.

The AMA proposal for the Pharmacist in General Practice Incentive Program, including the Deloitte Access Economics analysis, can be viewed at https://ama.com.au/article/general-practice-pharmacists-improving-patient-care

 

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