Non-dispensing pharmacists to be key part of GP team: AMA


health professionals lined up: Primary Health Networks

The AMA is proposing to make non-dispensing pharmacists a key part of the future general practice health care team, in a bid to help GPs even better care for their patients.

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, says the proposal – the Pharmacist in General Practice Incentive Program – will create greater efficiencies for general practices, better care for patients, new career opportunities for pharmacists, and significant Budget savings across the whole health system.

“Under this program, pharmacists within general practice would assist with things such as medication management, providing patient education on their medications, and supporting GP prescribing with advice on medication interactions and newly available medications,” A/Prof Owler says.

“Evidence shows that the AMA plan would reduce fragmentation of patient care, improve prescribing and use of medicines, reduce hospital admissions from adverse drug events, and deliver better health outcomes for patients.”

The proposal is backed by an independent analysis from the highly respected Deloitte Access Economics, which shows that the AMA proposal delivers a benefit-cost ratio of 1.56, which means that every $1 invested in the program generates $1.56 in savings to the health system.

Deloitte Access Economics estimates that, if 3,100 general practices took up the PGPIP, it would cost the Federal Government $969.5 million over four years.

However, this would be more than offset through broader savings to the health system in the following areas:

  • Hospital savings of $1.266 billion – due to reduced number of hospital admissions following a severe ADE.
  • PBS savings of $180.6 million – due to the reduced number of prescriptions from better prescribing and medication compliance.
  • Individual patient savings of $49.8 million – reduced co-payments for medical consultations and medicines.
  • MBS savings of $18.1 million – due to reduced number of GP attendances following a moderate or severe ADE.

The AMA has developed this model in consultation with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and it has the full backing of the PSA.

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