Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist January 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist January 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
This consideration is based on an
analysis of the existing situation, review
of research evidence in this area, and
feedback from members and other
stakeholders. It would address identified
issues such as the fact that a capped,
five-year funding agreement is generally
inappropriate for a fee-for-service
payment model which is intended to
meet specified consumer health needs.
Moreover, the referral side is a MBS item
(GP Item 900) and uncapped.
There may be long-term benefits in
allowing the service to grow and adapt
if the service (and funding) is removed
from the CPA arrangement.
Furthermore, it would allow better
targeting of the service and reducing
potentially unnecessary HMRs through
tighter eligibility criteria to focus on where
there has been evidence of most benefit.
Links to community pharmacy should
be maintained through transparency,
follow-up and continuity of care.
For the pharmacy profession and the
healthcare sector as a whole, it would
represent the first step of pharmacist
recognition as health care providers
through listing pharmacist items on
The CPA could be restructured to
recognise the professional input of
pharmacists along a continuum from
dispensing through to medication
management and chronic disease
monitoring based on clinical need.
This of course represents a fundamental
shift in the way pharmacists and
pharmacies are remunerated for both
dispensing and services. Consequently
its implementation may realistically need
to be delayed until the second or third
year of 6CPA. Regardless of any delay in
implementing a new funding model, it is
a move we have to make.
Most Australians will at some stage take prescription and other
medicines, and the figures show that when we are 65 most of us will be
regularly taking five or more medicines.
The latest official statistics also show
that in 2010, an estimated 271 million
prescriptions were dispensed in Australia
and millions more medicines were
supplied by pharmacists for minor
ailments and similar conditions.
Pharmacists play a key role in ensuring
that all Australians have ready access
to supplies of their essential medicines,
especially those seven million people
with chronic disease.
However, we must not take this role for
granted and in fact we need to ensure it
is protected and built upon. In our Sixth
Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA)
paper, PSA has outlined scenarios and
solutions which we believe will help to
The paper, Better health outcomes
through improved primary care:
Optimising pharmacy’s contribution
highlights that all medicines have the
potential for side effects and can interact
with other medicines despite providing
demonstrated therapeutic benefits.
To address this issue, PSA has developed
possible solutions which align with the
key elements of Australia’s policy on
Quality Use of Medicines, which the CPAs
seek to deliver.
recognition of pharmacists as
providers under the MBS
different levels of medication review
based on time and complexity
follow-up MedsChecks requested by
either the GP or pharmacist
the ability to establish a program of
MedsCheck consultations to structure
medication management services
based on the consumer’s needs, and
incentives for community pharmacies
to employ additional pharmacists
– especially those accredited for
medication reviews – to support the
provision of professional services.
In putting forward these options, PSA
acknowledges that maintaining the
status quo will not adequately deliver
value for consumers or Government.
At PSA we strongly believe a significant
increase in the level of pharmacy
remuneration is required, regardless
of the funding model. CPA funding is a
critical investment in Australia’s health
system, not a mechanism to drive
In addition, PSA considers that one
of the options available to ensure
the sustainability of medication
management review programs is the
removal of HMR and RMMR from 6CPA.
BY GRANT KARDACHI, FPS
» NATIONAL PRESIDENT SAYS
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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article visit www.psa.org.au/membership/
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