Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist August 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist August 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 9
The PSA NSW Branch President
Dr Stephen Carter hailed the Coroner's
recommendation as common-sense and
called on the NSW Minister for Health
to act on the recommendation noting
Health Ministers had previously agreed
on the need for such a system.
'The PSA has been advocating strongly
for this system for an extended period.
A system exists which we understand links
with prescribing and dispensing software
and the Commonwealth Government has
purchased software licences for all States
and Territories,' Dr Carter said.
'The NSW Government needs to act.
We know there are resource and
practical implications for the NSW
Ministry of Health, however it is not
obvious how much progress has been
made in addressing these.
'Previously we have been told the
roll out would take three years with
tentative implementation in 2015.
Given that it would appear that no
funds for this were included in the
recent NSW Health budget, we hope
that the NSW Deputy State Coroner's
recommendations will impel a higher
priority for this scheme within NSW.'
The Real Time Drug Monitoring System
is recognised by PSA and the medical
profession as reducing the risks of
doctor shopping, reducing the harms
caused by the misuse of prescription
drugs and saving many lives.
Dr Carter said that having a system
that allows for accurate, real time
recording of medications prescribed and
dispensed is invaluable.
'To maximise effectiveness GPs and
community pharmacists will need to be
aware of, trained in and be comfortable
with using the systems. We are keen to
work with the NSW Ministry of Health
to address this important initiative and
support its roll out as soon as possible.'
Magistrate Forbes also called for all
drugs classed as benzodiazepines such
as Serepax, Valium and Mogadon to
be moved from Schedule Four to the
harder-to-obtain Schedule Eight.
At the end of June the Victorian Branch of
the Pharmaceutical Society (PSA) and the
Pharmacy Guild (PGA) appeared before
the Legal and Social Issues Legislation
Committee, to make submissions to
the Victorian government inquiry into
The inquiry is exploring and identifying
the potential roles and opportunities for
community pharmacy in primary and
preventive care in Victoria.
Speaking after the hearing, Branch
Presidents Michelle Lynch (PSA) and
Anthony Tassone (PGA) said they were
confident that their presentations
offered a strong case for greater use of
pharmacists in community pharmacy.
Ms Lynch said the Victorian Government
now had the opportunity to lead the
way to better utilise the skills and
knowledge of pharmacists.
'Pharmacists are highly trained, are
experts in medicines and medication
management, and are located in
communities throughout Australia.
However, their role is far more limited
in Australia compared to many other
countries. Ms Lynch said.
'This inquiry has enabled the profession
to once again highlight how much
pharmacists can offer the health system
and improve the health outcomes of
everyone in the community.'
She said one area of growing concern
where pharmacists could make a real
difference was the rising number of
medication-related hospital admissions
among aged people.
'Pharmacists are ideally placed and
readily accessible to counsel and advise
on the Quality Use of Medicines to
reduce this admission rate which will
not only result in a healthier nation, but
also underpin a sustainable and viable
health system,' she said.
The committee is due to release its
report by 14 October 2014.
Easier HIV testing
The Pharmacy Guild has welcomed
the easier and more accessible
provision of testing and treatment
for HIV announced by the Minister
for Health, Peter Dutton. Acting Guild
National President John Dowling, said
the availability of in vitro diagnostic
devices (IVDs) for self-testing for the
presence of HIV was a step forward
in the community response to HIV.
Mr Dowling also welcomed the
Minister's announcement that from 1
July 2015 amendments will be made
to the prescribing and dispensing
arrangements for subsidised HIV
antiretroviral therapies, so that they
will then be able to be dispensed
through a pharmacy of the patient's
choice, regardless of where they were
Injuries from falls
Approximately 126,000 Australians
aged 65 and over were hospitalised
due to injury in 2011--12 according
to the Australian Institute of Health
and Welfare report, Hospitalised
injuries in older Australians: 2011--12.
The leading causes of unintentional
injury were falls (77%). Injury by
inanimate mechanical forces (injuries
involving an object) (6%), transport
crashes (5%), animate mechanical
forces (injuries due to contact with
animals or people, excluding assault),
or venomous bites and stings (2%) and
poisoning by pharmaceuticals (1%)
accounted for most of the remaining
unintentional injury. Medicines for
diabetes and for managing pain were
the most common drugs reported
in cases of unintentional poisoning
by pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical
drugs were also involved in about 77%
of hospitalisations for intentional self-
harm among older Australians.
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