Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist August 2012 Contents 628 Australian Pharmacist August 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
providing access to safely prescribed
medications though these health
professionals practicing within their
recognised scope of practice.'
One of the report's authors, Greg Kyle,
Associate Professor of Pharmacy at
the University of Canberra (UC) told
Australian Pharmacist that the whole
aim of the project was not just to look at
pharmacists; it was to look at anyone who
is not a medical practitioner who doesn't
presently have prescribing rights.
'The whole thrust behind it is looking
at access for patients. We all know how
di cult it is to get in to see a doctor.
'I was talking to a pharmacist who has a
colleague working in a reasonably sized
country town who said there is a 6--8
week wait to see a GP, so patients will
drive half an hour to a neighbouring town
where they can see a GP within a week.
'NMP is driven by patient need and is all
about access,' he said.
Assoc Prof Kyle believes prescribing is a
specialised quali cation for non-medical
practitioners and is not something that
everyone should do.
'If you look at nurse practitioners it is
a much broader formulary on the PBS
[compared to dentists] but it's up to the
nurse practitioner to work within his
or her scope just like it is for a medical
practitioner to work within his or
'Overseas there is a whole range of
models available. The literature review
that supported the report earlier this year
[Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway
in Australia] was quite extensive.
'What we did was look at a range
of models available internationally.
Canada is developing, but its piecemeal.
'The UK is quite mature in their
non-medical prescribing which has been
available since the 1990s.
'The start of NMP in the UK was essentially
the politicians saying -- "make it so from
this date", similar to what happened
with the nurse practitioners and eligible
midwives here a few budgets ago.
'Realistically that is probably the only way
that there's going to be any substantial
change in this space. There needs to be
that political will or lobbying to make that
change and say as of this date this is what
is going to happen.
'A lot of it depends on the profession.
There are a lot of other professions that
are moving well in this space. A local
example is physiotherapy. There's a trial
going on at the minute in the ACT looking
at very, very limited physio prescribing.'
Assoc. Prof Kyle was not overly hopeful
about pharmacist prescribing becoming a
reality in Australia any time soon.
'Will it happen for pharmacy? I don't
know. I have my doubts! There needs
to be an organisation with the will
and the strength to stand up and
say: "Pharmacy can provide all these
bene ts with additional skills and
'The other thing for pharmacy is, you've
got the inherent con ict of interest that
will always come out where, if you've
got a pharmacist who has an interest
in a dispensing pharmacy and they're
making a pro t from that dispensing they
should not have any involvement in the
prescribing process,' he said.
'Another thing with having an
organisation that needs to stand up
[for pharmacist prescribing] is that they
need to be able to say it's a specialist
quali cation, not everyone is going to be
able to do it. Pharmacist prescribing is for
a small percentage of pharmacists.
'It will de nitely be outside the present
community pharmacy model, so I doubt
the Guild will be interested in that. It's
going to take someone like PSA or SHPA
to take the bull by the horns and say,
"Pharmacy can deliver this. These are
the steps that we need to take in terms
Assoc Prof Kyle said that the overarching
driver from the community perspective is
access to a prescriber.
'A model I can see working is ...
pharmacist prescribers working within a
GP practice. This model of care is currently
being trialled in Qld now. (see Australian
Pharmacist June 2012, page 450.)
'So you have a pharmacist who goes
out and does an HMR on a patient, has
a look at that patient and nds say,
blood glucose readings, they're high
and they know that they don't have an
'There needs to be an
organisation with the
will and the strength
to stand up and
say: "Pharmacy can
provide all these
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