Quality use of medicines and primary care programs are a key focus for the seventeenth NPS MedicineWise Annual Evaluation Report, which has been published this week, providing an overview of the impact of the organisation’s work for the 2013-14 financial year and a snapshot of its progress.
“Quality use of medicines and medical tests remains a cornerstone for patient safety and realising better health outcomes, and I’m proud of the good work conducted by NPS MedicineWise in the past financial year to make an impact on both health and economic outcomes,” says NPS MedicineWise CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes.
The report shows that programs delivered in primary care over the past decade have had considerable health impacts leading to improved health outcomes and savings to the health system, including:
- The ‘Antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy in stroke prevention’ program was associated with a relative decrease of 10% in prescribing of clopidogrel for the financial year.
- The ‘Balancing benefits and harms of antipsychotic therapy’ program continued to have an effect on reduction of antipsychotics inappropriately prescribed to elderly patients with dementia, with a decrease of 34,675 prescriptions or a relative 4% reduction in modelled PBS prescription volume over the previous two financial years.
- The ‘Type 2 Diabetes: priorities and targets’ program was effective in improving health professional knowledge of the importance of blood pressure management in patients with diabetes with 17,448 health professionals participating in the program.
- 86% of GPs surveyed nationally reported that NPS MedicineWise has either strongly or moderately influenced their prescribing decisions.
- A total of 21,715 unique health professionals participated in NPS MedicineWise programs, and 65% of registered GPs participated actively in an NPS MedicineWise intervention in the 2013-14 financial year.
- 75,000 health professionals were reached by NPS MedicineWise publications.
- NPS MedicineWise Medicines Line recorded 9,062 completed medicines enquiries.
- NPS MedicineWise has developed an impressive online and social media presence with 3.3 million visits to our website, 2.3 million Twitter and 1.5 million Facebook views over the 12 months.
“A key issue to emerge in the Annual Evaluation Report is non-adherence to medicines—a major health care cost and quality issue,” says Dr Weekes.
“37% of consumers surveyed by NPS MedicineWise in 2014 reported that they always, often or sometimes forget to take medicines and a quarter take less than instructed.
“Closing the adherence gap will see many of the health and economic costs associated with non adherence avoided. Improving adherence will continue to be a focus across the programs NPS MedicineWise delivers.
“NPS MedicineWise has succeeded again on achieving its mission to achieve better health and economic outcomes. I would like to acknowledge these exceptional results and thank NPS MedicineWise staff, member organisations, program partners, advisory groups and the many others who make building a medicinewise Australia possible.”