King Review offers ‘true reform’

Two happy pharmacists

The King Review has the potential to deliver “true reform” on how pharmacists deliver services, says Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia CEO Kristin Michaels.

Michaels welcomed the release of the discussion paper and said SHPA looks forward to providing advice regarding pharmacy remuneration and regulation, “so that the patient is at the centre of deliberation”.

“As we discussed with the Review Panel during a tour of the hospital pharmacy department at the Alfred Hospital, many stakeholders felt that the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement was a pragmatic approach,” Michaels says.

“This Review has potential to deliver true reform to how pharmacists provide care and services to patients.

“Recognition should now be given to the changing health and economic landscape, as well as consumer needs and demands,” she said.

She pointed out that while the 6CPA provides some scope for professional pharmacy services, they represent less than 7% of the entire budget, with the overwhelming majority of the budget allocated to non-clinical services such as medication supply.

“SHPA also would like to point out that a significant proportion – roughly 25% – of PBS expenditure is occurring in public and private hospitals,” Michaels says.

“If pharmacy remuneration is meant to support the quality use of medicines described in the National Medicines Policy, we need to have a frank discussion about how pharmacy remuneration can best be modelled to deliver for patients,” she says.

Michaels says that medication supply and dispensing is pivotal to the provision of pharmacy services.

However, that taxpayer-funded community pharmacy agreements should provide remuneration for pharmacy services of varying complexities commensurate with the needs of patients, she says.

“While the MedsCheck and Home Medicines Review are evidence-based programs, their restrictive eligibility rules mean that too many patients requiring clinical services are missing out,” Michaels says.

“There is no doubt that this is contributing to the 230,000 medicine-related hospital admissions each year.

“SHPA looks forward to assisting the Review Panel to investigate innovative models of care that will deliver more cost-efficient and effective medicines management.”

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