A matter of trial and error


Sussan Ley in Parliament (in Opposition): today she has lauded the wider PBS reforms package

Profession waits for more information on professional service future

Community pharmacists are waiting for further news on the timeline for the first tranche of 6CPA professional service trial programs.

Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced at APP 2016 earlier this month the first three trials to be funded out of the $50 6CPA Pharmacy Trial Program.

However there is not, as yet, a timeline for the trials launch, duration, assessment or implementation.

The first three trials are:

  • Improved medication management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through pharmacist advice and culturally appropriate services;
  • Pharmacy based screening and referral for diabetes; and
  • Improved continuity in the management of patients’ medications when they are discharged from hospital.

The latter option in particular has been welcomed by many pharmacists, industry sources have told AJP Daily.

“This will develop and trial new ways to improve clinical outcomes for consumers and extend the role of community pharmacists,” Ms Ley said.

“There is real and exciting opportunity here for pharmacy, working with other professions, to help shape the primary health care agenda”.

“These three trial topics build on previous research, address key Government health priority areas, and have been identified as priorities through both the development of the 2015 Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement and the extensive consultations on the Pharmacy Trial Program,” she said.

“They are being finalised now and I look forward to announcing that the trials have commenced in the near future”.

A spokesperson for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia said they had not yet received any further information on the programs’ timeframe.

The minister said she was “looking forward” to receiving further ideas for trials.

The Department of Health has released a discussion paper calling for ideas on areas in which further trials could be funded.

The department says “the first tranche of the Trials have been and will be subject to review by the TAG and the Protocol Advisory Sub Committee of the Medical Services Advisory Committee”.

Among the possible future trials Ms Ley highlighted are:

  • Better managing transition of care between home and aged care facilities
  • Gaps in medication management in rural settings
  • Involving pharmacists in team care arrangements to manage chronic conditions; and
  • Harnessing the potential of the new digital health revolution

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