Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist April 2012 Contents 266 Australian Pharmacist April 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Plibersek supports 5CPA
By Peter Waterman
The Federal Government has made it clear
it is unequivocal in not supporting any
inquiry into the Community Pharmacy
Agreement (CPA) process.
In the keynote address at APP, Minister
for Health Tanya Plibersek told delegates
that rather than
hold an inquiry,
focus was to ensure
that the existing
and that any lessons
learned from such scrutiny were carried
over into the next agreement.
Minister Plibersek's reference to the next
agreement also served to allay fears that
the Agreement process could languish at
the expiry of 5CPA.
Ms Plibersek clearly felt the mood of
concern among pharmacists about an
inquiry when she said, 'The Government
does not support such a Senate Inquiry
into the Agreement. It is a five year
Agreement and is only in its second
year. We believe it is delivering for the
community. Our approach is to make sure
the Agreement is properly evaluated and
to use the lessons learned to feed into the
development of a Sixth Agreement.
'That is why today I am pleased to release
the Evaluation Framework for the review
of the programs delivered under the Fifth
Agreement. From today the Evaluation
Framework will be accessible on the
'It provides a uniform framework for
evaluating the Fifth Agreement. By
releasing it today we are giving the many
interested parties the opportunity to be
engaged in the evaluation process. To
make sure the right questions are being
asked and to make sure we are collecting
the right information to answer them.
'An open and transparent evaluation
process was already built in the Fifth
Agreement and I didn't see the need for
another politically motivated inquiry to
pre-empt the planned review.'
The Health Minister also reiterated the
Government's commitment to the health
'At the heart of these reforms is a
commitment to patient focused care,'
'Patient-focused care means we
must make our health system more
accountable and that means putting
in place policy levers that improve
transparency and drive efficiency.
'An ageing population, new medicines
and health technologies, the increasing
prevalence of chronic diseases all place
demands on the health budget. Meeting
these demands in a sustainable way
means we have to run our health system
more efficiently while also maintaining
quality,' she said.
Ms Plibersek highlighted two
pharmacy reforms that passed
through the Parliament the previous
week. The first was the laws to allow
'Continued dispensing is good for
patients. When the program starts on
1 July this year, it will be easier for women
to get the pill and for Australians who
take statins to continue to get their
medicines even when their scripts have
run out and they haven't been able to get
back to the doctor.
'New laws were also passed last week to
enable Medication Charts in residential
aged care homes to also be used as
a prescription. Currently a prescriber
must write a medication order on both
a PBS prescription and duplicate the
information on a medication chart.
'The benefits to aged-care residents
include reduced transcription errors and
duplication. Pharmacists will also have
timely notice of updates and changes to a
resident's medication regimen.'
Ms Plibersek said that as the population
aged, Australia was looking at an
alarming and growing list of complex
chronic illnesses and so needed to help
and encourage Australians to manage
their own health to a greater extent than
'The goals must be to keep them
healthy as long as possible and out of
hospital care. This means providing
excellent care in their communities.
The Fifth Community Pharmacy
Agreement recognises this by supporting
pharmacists to deliver a range of
medication management services.
'Nearly 80% of the professional programs
and services funded under the Fifth
Agreement are aimed an improving
patient care. This includes programs and
services like Home Medicines Reviews,
Clinical Interventions, the provision of
Dose Administration Aids and Diabetes
Ms Plibersek went on to say patients
should feel comfortable in asking their
pharmacist about any issues they have
with their medications.
'These programs exemplify the important
work pharmacists do in our communities.
I know both from my work as a local
member of Parliament and as a mother
that community pharmacies contribute to
the rich social fabric of our society. While
waiting for my scripts to be filled I have
often witnessed pharmacists not only
provide clinical interventions but take
the time to chat with lonely patients who
seek social interaction. These intangible
benefits that community pharmacy
provide may be hard to measure but I can
assure you the Government and your
communities recognise them.'
More APP news on page 333.
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