Time to commit to new reforms: PSA


white coat professional shouting into megaphone

Leading up to the Queensland state election, one stakeholder is urging all political parties to commit to pharmacy-related initiatives

PSA Queensland Branch President Shane MacDonald said the upcoming election was the perfect time to commit to new reforms that will allow pharmacists, as medicines experts to practice to their full range of abilities that will lead to a healthier Queensland.

“PSA urges all political parties to allow pharmacists to administer more routine medicines, such as injectable buprenorphine, insulin or Vitamin B12, to improve Queensland patients’ management of complex health conditions,” he said.

“Pharmacists are skilled in administering simple injections however, Queensland law currently limits the medicines which can be administered to some vaccines and adrenaline.

“Pharmacists in Victoria and the ACT are able to do so and are already administering medicines by injection to patients – such as buprenorphine for opioid dependence and denosumab for osteoporosis​.

“Amending regulations will remove the barrier artificially preventing pharmacists from providing safe, convenient and timely health care to Queenslanders and be at no cost the Queensland government.”

PSA also asked for the elected party to establish and fund transition-of-care pharmacists in all tertiary Queensland hospitals to avoid preventable readmissions.

PSA’s Medicine Safety: Take Care report revealed over 90% of patients have at least one medicine-related problem on leaving hospital.

Mr MacDonald said many of these problems could be severe and cause harm, requiring readmission to hospital and reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions significantly reduced the burden and cost of care on Queensland’s hospitals.

“Employing transition-of-care pharmacists to work with the patient’s care team through outpatient consultations or providing services can reduce medicine harm,” he said.

“Whether this be through reviewing medicines for patients who had experience a heart attack, phoning patients to help safely wean doses of steroid medicines or coordinating medicines for patients with complex medicine profiles.”

PSA has also reiterated the need to appoint a Chief Pharmacist to provide strategic leadership in improving medicine safety for Queensland and to drive coordination and rapid implementation of public health measures during emergencies.

“The absence of a Chief Pharmacist in Queensland during COVID-19 saw delays in implementing vital initiatives to support continuing medicine supply, such as digital image prescriptions and electronic prescriptions,” said Mr MacDonald.

“A Chief Pharmacist is needed to provide advice and leadership for timely government responses to emergencies as they occur and to deliver on Queensland’s commitment to Australia’s 10th National Health Priority Area: The Safe and Quality Use of Medicines.”

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