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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : October 2006
medication management in review MP urges ‘push-over try’ from pharmacists on HMRs The future of home medicines reviews (HMR) was discussed at the National MMR Facilitator Conference, held at Sydney’s Darling Harbour from 18 to 20 September tors were given both instruction and encouragement from an array of speak- ers including prominent Queensland MP Dr Andrew Laming, Guild national pres- ident Kos Sclavos, CEO of the Divisions of General Practice Kate Carnell and pharmacy business expert Bruce Annabel. Dr Andrew Laming, Member for Bow- man and member of the backbench committee on health and ageing, opened the conference and congratulated the MMR facilitators for their hard work. ‘In the game of rugby, to get a push- T over try, everyone on the team needs to be pushing. Healthcare is the same. The Home Medicines Review program is an excellent example of GPs and pharmacists working together to achieve the same goal,’ Mr Laming said. Mr Laming also spoke about the future of public healthcare in Australia. ‘We need to move beyond monolithic approach to healthcare, toward an indi- vidualised approach. Every patient is unique and has different needs. The Gov- ernment is putting its money where its mouth is—what we need from you is another 100,000 HMRs.’ National president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Kos Sclavos, high- lighted the importance of HMRs and the invaluable role pharmacists play in deliv- ering public healthcare. HE national network of medication management review (MMR) facilita- Reducing pressure on aged care Mr Sclavos discussed the use of HMRs in taking pressure off aged care facilities, where many elderly people end up because of compliance problems with their medication. ‘Medication compliance is the top trig- ger as to why people end up in nursing homes. HMRs are helping to reduce the number of premature entries to aged care facilities,’ Mr Sclavos said. Mr Sclavos also addressed the future of PBS prescribing, and issues surrounding control processes. ‘Pharmacists and GPs need to get it right before other health professionals are given prescribing rights, and increase the chance of medicine misadventure by patients,’ he said. ‘Hospitalisation is also an area that needs to be addressed. If a patient has recently been released from hospital an HMR should be conducted. There is not enough communication between hospi- tals and a patient’s local pharmacist, which places the patient’s health at con- siderable risk. ‘We need some formof control process to trigger an HMR. In Australia 50 per cent of all patients are incurring 70 per cent of PBS costs. How many of these peo- ple are taking medicines they should not be taking?’ Encouraging more referrals CEO of the Australian Divisions of Gen- 36 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.87 OCTOBER 2006 1. Delegates enjoyed a panel discussion with Guild national president Kos Sclavos (left), ADGP CEO Kate Carnell (centre) and Federal Liberal MP Dr Andrew Laming (right). eral Practice, Kate Carnell, encouraged GPs to refer more HMRs to their patients. Recent studies show only 6 per cent of GPs have embraced the opportunity to help improve the health of their patients through medication reviews. ‘We have an obligation to the commu- nity. HMRs reduce the number of unwanted medicines lying around the home, reduce the possibility of misadven- ture, and reduce the number of hospital- isations.’ Ms Carnell also discussed the need for ways to measure patient outcomes, to ensure HMR patients are actually getting better. ‘Our ultimate goal is to move from our current health system to a wellness system, to keep people out of hospital and ensure they are taking their medicine properly,’ she said. Mr Sclavos said pharmacists wanting to branch out should look at becoming HMR facilitators. ‘The benefits of MMR are both tangi- PHOTO/GRAYNOISE