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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : October 2006
medication management in review ble and intangible. On the tangible side, the dollars dominate the measure of suc- cess. For a health economist, an MMR supplies benefits in terms of PBS effi- ciency, reduced hospital admission and re- admission and avoids premature admis- sion to nursing homes,’ he said. ‘For the remainder of the Guild–Gov- ernment agreement, PBS costs will con- tinue to grow below the rate of economy. The remainder of healthcare costs, how- ever, are likely to grow at a greater rate than the economy. ‘Accredited pharmacists performing reviews will play a vital role; not only value-adding to the health system but ensuring diverse and rewarding career opportunities for all pharmacists. A key success factor will be the continued uptake of the service by pharmacists, doctors and our patients,’ Mr Sclavos said. Reinforcing the business case Pharmacy business expert and AJP columnist Bruce Annabel presented a strong business case for pharmacists look- ing to move out from behind the dispen- sary and take up HMRs. His presentation was an update of an address to Australian Association of Con- sultant Pharmacy day-long workshop at the Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) conference earlier in the year, taking into account the new fee and incentive structure announced during APP by Min- ister for Ageing, Senator Santo Santoro. This update was orginally published in this column in May 2006. ‘Customers will determine pharmacy’s future,’ Mr Annabel told delegates. ‘We are already experiencing drops in prescription numbers, and growth in overheads which equals financial loss. Pharmacists will need to be more innova- tive, and think more strategically if they don’t want their net profits to continue growing at a rate barely above inflation. ‘Ten out of the top 20 fastest growing grocery products are things historically found in pharmacies. If pharmacists want to stay ahead of supermarkets they need to be able to deliver speciality healthcare in a pharmacy setting. HMRs create a point of difference even between compet- ing pharmacies,’ he said. Mr Annabel added that HMRs were also an opportunity for community phar- macy en masse to differentiate their offer from the mass merchants, such as super- markets and discount department stores. ‘Community pharmacists can now get more involved in HMRs because there is no longer a financial impendiment fol- lowing the increase in fees and incentives. Pharmacists who conduct only 10 HMRs a month will begin making a profit after full recovery of all direct and indirect overheads, including education and training. Bruce Annabel: ‘There is no longer a financial impediment to delivering HMRs’. Community Pharmacy Agreement. This could potentially be a new role for MMR facilitators,’ Mr Emerson said. He also addressed the need for a con- sultative forum for business rules for HMR facilitators and more rigid timelines for conducting reviews. In wrapping up the conference, Mr Lance Emerson: ‘facilitators increase uptake [of HMRs] by at least 30 per cent, and possibly as much as 60 per cent’ What’s new? The Guild’s director of the rural and pro- fessional services, Lance Emerson, said he hoped the claiming process and accredi- tation incentives for HMR accredited pharmacists would be up and running by December 2006. He also discussed a potential new serv- ice focusing on diabetes care,which would receive $13m in Government funding over the next five years. ‘While we are not yet sure which inter- ventions would be used, there were two which presented positive results from research conducted during the Third 38 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.87 OCTOBER 2006 Emerson told the AJP that the turn out and receptiveness of the delegates were very positive. ‘HMRs are an excellent example of suc- cessful collaboration between pharma- cists and GPs,’ he said. ‘The outstanding results of the pro- gram, including ever-increasing average numbers of claims per month (up to 2,311 in 2005–06 from 1,938 the year before) and the increasing number of accredited pharmacists (up to 1,662 in 2005 from 1,241 in 2002), are a reflection of the value that such collaborations offer the Australian community. ‘Closer analysis of the statistics on HMR uptake also show that facilitators increase uptake by at least 30 per cent, and possi- bly as much as 60 per cent.’ Mr Emerson said that, subject to Min- isterial approval, the Guild was looking forward to building on this positive rela- tionship in working with the ADGP to progress new professional services through the MMR facilitator program. ¦ PHOTOS/GRAYNOISE