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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : November 2006
fessional condition(s) of interest. We provide the GPs with a list of those patients and flag appropriate points for consideration in each patient. On average, a GP’s list will identify about four patients. We also write to the relevant veterans and invite them to raise identified issues with their doctor at the next visit. Feed- back from doctors and veterans indicates that they like the program and that it is helpful in practice. A new topic is developed and delivered every 13 weeks. All pharmacies in Aus- tralia (community and hospital), all phar- macy organisations (state and national), all state HMRcoordinators and accredited pharmacists receive the GP and veteran support materials every 13 weeks. Evaluation to date indicates that we are contributing to modest but significant changes in the medical management of targeted veterans. Relevance to pharmacists and pharmacy practice Veterans’ MATES is relevant in the polit- ical, service utilisation and practice devel- opment areas of the profession. At the political level the program is a clear demonstration of the ability of Aus- tralian quality use of medicines research and service delivery agencies to deliver a world-class health practice support serv- ice. The high level of involvement and vis- ibility of pharmacists in those agencies and in the delivery of the program pro- vides a significant political profile for the profession. In terms of service utilisation, every one of the eight topics so far developed and delivered directly invites veterans to ask their pharmacists about their medicines or about the use of devices such as inhalers. Four of the eight topics specifi- cally ask the GP to consider an HMR for the patients listed on their feedback sheet. Pharmacists tell us that veterans are coming into their pharmacies with their Veterans’ MATES brochure to ask for assistance with their medicines. Signifi- cantly more veterans, whose GPs we asked to consider an HMR, have had an HMR completed. This is relevant to pharmacy in helping to increase numbers of HMRs requested by GPs and the opportunities to develop stronger relationships with those GPs and veterans who are participating in this program. With regard to practice support and development, we encourage pharmacists