Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist October 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist October 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
The potential for community pharmacies to make a significant contribution
to reducing the cost of unnecessary hospitalisations has been confirmed
by a report published in the Medical Journal of Australia last month,
according to the Pharmacy Guild.
The study conducted by researchers at
the University of South Australia and the
BUPA Health Foundation showed that
as many as one in four older hospital
patients could have avoided admission
had their medication and health risks
been better managed.
It concluded that a quarter of
hospital admissions were preceded
by ‘sub-optimal care’, with up to
$300 million being spent per year to
treat elderly patients who were not on
the correct drug regime.
According to the Guild, the report builds
on the strong evidence that adverse
medicine events account for thousands
of hospital admissions per year. It is
also well established that medication
adherence rates in Australia are low,
averaging only 50–65%. This leads
to poor outcomes, hospitalisations,
and increased health care costs.
The acting National President of the
Pharmacy Guild, Tim Logan, said:
‘ There is ample evidence that a relatively
modest investment in the quality
use of medicines would significantly
reduce unnecessary hospital stays and
premature aged care facility admissions.
‘Pharmacists already deliver medicine
management services, including Meds
Checks, Home Medicine Reviews,
and Dose Administration Aids.
Clinica interventions relating to minor
and more serious conditions and
situations are standard practice for
community pharmacists,’ Mr. Logan said.
However, there was a need for better
coordination and collaboration across
the acute and primary care system,
with general practitioners and other
health care providers. A comprehensive
community pharmacy program
addressing prescribing, adherence and
compliance issues would provide the full
value of the community’s investment in
Programs specifically addressing
medication management issues
in relation to hospital admissions,
and medication management
post-discharge from hospital are
key potential areas of development
under the Sixth Community Pharmacy
Agreement pharmacy trial program.
Australians hedge their
More than 1.8 million Australians paid for
alternative health services in an average
four weeks but more than half of them
also see a doctor, research from Roy
Whether it’s acupuncture or cupping,
reiki or shiatsu, hypnotherapy or
aromatherapy, iridology, reflexology or
kinesiology, almost one in 10 Australians
aged 14+ paid for some type of
alternative health service in the past four
weeks, according to Roy Morgan Single
Source data for the year to June 2015.
Government health departments and
medical research organisations often
now prefer to describe many of these
services as ‘complementary’ rather than
‘alternative’ – an optional add-on to
conventional medical treatment, not a
replacement. And it seems Australians are
inclined to agree.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan
Research, said: ‘There is a clear correlation
between going to the doctor and an
alternative health practitioner, with
someone who visits one around twice as
likely to visit the other in the same period.
The researched found that of the 1,825,000
Australians 14+ who paid for alternative
health services in the past four weeks,
969,000 (53%) also paid for a doctor’s visit
during the same period. The overlap is
prominent among men: of the 655,000
who paid for alternative health services
in the past four weeks (7% of all men),
388,000 also paid for a doctor’s visit (59%).
Women are more likely than men to
pay for alternative health services in an
average four weeks. However there is
less overlap with doctor’s visits; of the
1,170,000, or 12% of women who paid for
alternative health services, just under half
(581,000) also paid for a doctor’s visit.
The converse is the proportion of doctors’
visitors who also use alternative health
services: 5,126,000 Australians (26%) paid
for a doctor in an average four weeks,
just under one in five of whom also paid
for alternative health services.
the path to
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