Toward a pharmacy agreement for all settings

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed broader pharmacy representation as part of the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) noting today that all pharmacists, practicing in all settings, should have input into the important funding agreement.

Yesterday Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia would become a co-signatory to the 7CPA.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says while the agreement is community-facing, the reality is medication-related incidents permeate through all healthcare settings, and programs to support optimal medicines management cannot be segmented.

‘The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is a key pillar of Australia’s healthcare system and, in caring for Australia’s most acutely unwell, hospital pharmacists oversee more than 20% of annual PBS expenditure.

‘Hospital pharmacy practice is essential to ensuring patients leave hospital equipped and empowered to manage their new medicines regimen safely at home.

‘Hospital pharmacists must be resourced and supported to provide key services that underpin transitions of care, such as providing accurate and updated medication lists, medication management plans and discharge medicines counselling which are crucial to minimising risk of hospital readmission.’

Ms Michaels says as medicines experts and custodians of significant PBS expenditure, hospital pharmacists have a key role to play in the system’s sustainability.

‘Most new PBS listings in recent years are high-cost medicines for the treatment of complex conditions such as Hepatitis C, cancer and cystic fibrosis.

‘These serious conditions are overwhelmingly treated in the hospital setting where hospital pharmacists supply these medicines to patients and counsel them on their effective use to ensure treatment success and maximise the government’s return on investment for new PBS listings.

Ms Michaels says SHPA would welcome additional future funding for high quality, face-to-face pharmacy services in the 7CPA.

‘Such services are delivered by SHPA members and their colleagues in hospitals across the country every day; they are supported by evidence to improve the quality use of medicines and improve the health of all Australians.’

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