Home' Australian Pharmacist : January 2011 Contents Vol.30–January#01
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The benefits of greater dispensing accuracy and efficiency are now widespread
with 3,250 pharmacies and 8,200 doctors using eRx, and 28 million eRx
ePrescriptions transacted to date.
The rapid uptake means that more and more health professionals and their
customers are experiencing more accurate and rapid retrieval of patient and
prescription details .
The key benefits of eRx e-scripts include
• The patient’s personal and prescription data is retrieved directly into your dispensing software within
• No re-keying of patient and script information, reducing potential for errors and freeing up time to
concentrate on patient care.
• Information is exactly as entered by the GP, ensuring the correct item is dispensed.
• Innovations such as dispense notifications and a new
process management an d streamline communications
between medical professionals and pharmacists.
• All data is fully encrypted and secure at all times.
eRx cannot access, see or track patient, prescriber,
dispenser or drug information at any time.
Find out about eRx’s ‘No Cost’ policy, which ensures no out-of-pocket expenses for pharmacies
For more information visit www.erx.com.au
or call 1300 700 921
eRx Script Exchange.
Improving patient safety
and care with e-scripts.
28 million eRx e-scripts and counting
eRx PAC publication Dec 2010_Layout 1 6/12/10 3:08 PM Page 1
A recently published Australian
study, Perceptions, use and
attitudes of pharmacy customers
on complementary medicines and
pharmacy practice, evaluated the
use of both complementary and
prescription medicines among
1,121 participants, showing that 72%
had used Complementary Medicines
(CMs) within the previous 12 months,
61% used prescription medicines daily
and 43% had used both.5
The most popular CMs dispensed
through pharmacy were
(in descending order): multivitamins,
fish oil supplements, vitamin C,
glucosamine, vitamin B complex,
probiotics, echinacea, coenzyme Q10,
Ginkgo biloba and St John’s Wort.
As the authors of the study observe,
the concept of a ‘new customer’
is now arising. This term is used
to ‘describe customers or patients
who are becoming more demanding.
They tend to be information strong
(well informed) and information
seeking (inquisitive); ask critical
questions; show a desire to initiate
dialogue; seek counselling and in
general no longer blindly accept the
authority of health care providers.’
This new class of customer would
appear to differ considerably from
the gullible individual that the
mainstream media often characterises
consumers of CMs to be. According
to this study the majority of people
using CMs were self-prescribers,
although pharmacists and pharmacy
assistants were influential in
the recommendation of CMs to
the level of information
This study also highlights customer
dissatisfaction with the level of
information provided in pharmacy,
with the strong message that
customers would like to have more
engagement with pharmacists
regarding complementary medicines.
It also highlighted the fact that
some customers currently feel that
pharmacists are ‘ill-equipped’ to
counsel them about CMs and many
do not refer to pharmacists as an
information source. The study also
brought to our attention that the fact
that pharmacists also felt insufficiently
informed about CMs, and experienced
‘discomfort’ when dealing with
enquiries about complementary
medicines and natural health products.
Somehow, I feel that this will change
very quickly if pharmacists are
included in Medicare benefits for
1. A National Health and Hospitals Network for
Australia’s Future – Delivering the Reforms.
2. Hall, A. Call for complementary medicine rethink.
2010 [cited 13 December 2010].
3. ABS. 1301.0 – Year Book Australia, 2009–10, Health
Care Delivery And Financing.
4. The Senate Proof, National Health Amendment
(Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2010.
5. Braun L, et al. Perceptions, use and attitudes of
pharmacy customers on complementary medicines
and pharmacy practice. BMC Complementary and
Alternative Medicine. 10(1):38.
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