PBA prescribing statement an endorsement of innovative pharmacist excellence

A vote of confidence in pharmacist expertise, the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Position statement on pharmacist prescribing has been welcomed today by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) as the next logical step toward improvements in medicines prescribing practice to the benefit of patients and health professionals.

On behalf of members, SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels welcomed the PBA’s acknowledgment there are no regulatory barriers in place for pharmacists to prescribe ‘via a structured prescribing arrangement or under supervision within a collaborative healthcare environment’. 

‘Today’s statement is strong endorsement for the continuation of clinical pharmacy practices in Australian hospitals that already involve medication chart review and endorsement, and which are proven to improve patient care by optimising the efficacy of multidisciplinary teams. 

‘Such contemporary clinical interventions, including Victoria’s Partnered Pharmacist Medication Charting (PPMC) pilot, have demonstrated improvements in safe and quality care and can logically be extended to prescribing via a structured prescribing arrangement or under supervision, given hospital pharmacists undertake the most accurate medication reconciliations. 

‘Drawing on the extensive expertise of our members, the earliest adopters of collaborative prescribing practices, SHPA is also positioned to partner with regulatory bodies regarding required changes in state and territory legislation to enable more pharmacists to prescribe, and realise greater benefits to patient care and professional practice.’ 

Ms Michaels says today’s statement adds further strength to positive clinical results of pilot interdisciplinary projects, led by hospital pharmacists. 

‘The PBA statement is very timely, as the Victorian Government is currently accepting applications from up to 24 health services to be involved in the PPMC scaling project, supported by the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund. 

‘We congratulate all SHPA members who have been instrumental in progressing this innovative work.’ 

A health economic evaluation of the PPMC model, initially piloted by Alfred Health and then expanded to five other health services in 2016-17, found:

  • reduction in the proportion of patients with at least one medication error from 19.2% to 0.5%
  • reduction in patient length of stay from 6.5 days to 5.8 days
  • estimated savings per PPMC patient admission of $726
  • total hospital cost savings from the replication of $1.95 million.

‘On behalf of SHPA members, who are progressive advocates for clinical excellence, SHPA is pleased to see the PBA’s leadership on this promising, cutting-edge area of medicines management, and we are ready to continue the conversation to realise further benefits regarding the safe and quality use of medicines.’

Download the media release.