Pharmacists, critic butt heads over readmissions

It started when the Pharmacy Guild tweeted its welcome to the focus on avoidable hospital readmissions in Friday’s COAG communique, which identified that too many patients are readmitted following complications arising from the management of their original condition.

The Guild states that community pharmacy can play a key role in reducing the 230,000 hospital admissions each year due to medicine related causes.

But the RACGP’s Evan Ackermann responded, tweeting also to the College and to Health Minister Sussan Ley that if only pharmacists are included in this care, re-admissions increase.


It didn’t go down well. John Cook pointed out that international data and common sense supported collaborative programs, while Shane Jackson pointed to existing data on HMRs.

The Guild’s Anthony Tassone pointed out that medication management services including HMRs and MedsChecks are currently under review by the MSAC.

“Dr Ackermann’s entitled to his opinion, but there’s increasing evidence of avoidable admissions and readmissions to hospital due to medicines-related events,” Tassone later told the AJP.

“But the fact is that consumers visit their pharmacies sooner after being discharged from hospitals, and frequent their community pharmacies, more than any other health care destination in Australia.

“Along with all that, pharmacies are the most accessible health care destination in Australia so it makes complete sense that a medicines expert, at a critical point of care when a patient is transitioning to or from hospital, can help prevent these avoidable events.”

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