Professional disagreement

doctor wearing boxing glove

New pharmacy pain program a “slap in the face” for GPs: AMA

The AMA has reacted angrily to the announcement of the $20 million pharmacy Pain MedsCheck trial, claiming it is a “slap in the face”. 

The trial, announced on Friday by Health Minister Greg Hunt, will see pharmacists evaluate a patient’s medicines, analgesic use and pain management program in a face-to-face consultation, to ensure it supports their clinical need.

Taking to Twitter in the wake of the announcement, an irate AMA President Dr Michael Gannon said that: 

“Sorry . It’s wrong. Another slap in the face for GPs, the real community health experts. Time to face , shift focus to non-drug solutions. What underlying cause of pain? Is pt depressed? Physio? Relax’n techniqs? Massage? Answer not always in a pill”

His comments sparked a heated response from pharmacists, with many castigating his comments as being unaware of the program detail and focus.

Anthony Tassone, president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Victoria) responded: 

“Before coming out publicly criticising a program,would be worth to learn more.Pain MedsChecks through community pharmacies are aimed towards identifying patients with chronic pain concerns and could lead to referrals to other health professionals including GPs. Hows that wrong?”

Jarrod McMaugh, PSA Victorian Vice-President agreed:

“This response suggests you aren’t familiar with the program Perhaps you’d like to familiarise yourself before casting judgement?”

The social media war continued with other doctors joining the fray.

Surprisingly, regular pharmacy critic Dr Evan Ackermann was positive about the plan, saying “I think this is a good move. I remember suggesting it to a Vic PSA rep. (Govt gives pharmacy a chance to recoup credibility) MedsCheck for pain to be trialed”.





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