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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

General practice–based pharmacists to enhance patient care

Health Industry Hub | February 3, 2020 |

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes changes to the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP), effective 1 February 2020, designed to increase consumer access to an expanded primary care team of experts committed to improving every patient’s health.

“For the first time, pharmacists will be included as one of the allied health professionals general practices can engage through the Workforce Incentive Program,” PSA National President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman said.

According to the PSA, integrating pharmacists into general practice is expected to yield a net saving of $544.87 million to the health system over four years.

“Research shows integrating a pharmacist into the primary care team can improve health outcomes for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease; and reduce medicine-related problems, total number of medicines and inappropriately prescribed medicines.”

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has also welcomed the changes, with RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon noting “This is a positive development. The RACGP values team-based models of care in which a range of healthcare professionals can contribute towards patient health outcomes, maximising use of their skills within their scope of practice.”

While PSA commends the Commonwealth for supporting general practices to employ pharmacists, it is concerned the funding cap will limit practices’ ability to do so. This matter is raised in the PSA’s 2020/21 Federal Budget Submission.


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