Health

More expert pharmacists needed in the era of medicine miracles

As we live on a protracted pandemic tail, it’s challenging to think of a simpler drug landscape 20 years ago.

In 2001, most of the medicines listed in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) were used to manage lifestyle-related diseases, and the respected program was one-third the size of today.

In recent years, most of the new drugs approved for grants are much more complex, more costly, and overwhelmingly used or launched in hospitals due to the serious nature of the condition being treated.

Evidence of this change in the pharmaceutical and healthcare situation is a steady increase in the proportion of PBS funding managed by hospital pharmacists from the turn of the century when PBS and hospital care were funded in parallel to today’s 23%. It is clear from what you are doing.

For this reason, the opinion of hospital pharmacies is that two 20-year-old policies that shape the way medicines are paid and provide them safely and effectively to those in need: the Drug Reform Agreement and the National Medicines. Essential for policy reviews.

The challenge on this occasion is a unique coalition medical model in which the federal government’s involvement with the state-funded hospital sector, given its size and complexity, cannot always be explored in detail. However, even the slightest impact can be felt at the forefront of patient care.

In 2019, the federal budget was surprised to see a $ 44 million reduction in PBS compensation for hospital pharmacists. This number alone can fund the large national early career development programs needed to support the workforce pipeline needed to provide quality patient care. future.

The pesky and unaddressed legacy of our changing drug situation is that pharmacies are Australia’s only healthcare professionals linking the value of prescribed medicines to the provision of clinical services. This is ethically inconsistent with the purpose of the policy under review, especially given the growing knowledge of explanations as interventions that can improve quality of life.

As a top priority, these reviews should put patients at the center of reform and fund clinical services individually.

Separating the funding of medicines from the funding of their own expertise to safely deliver them cannot reduce other services within the already constrained medical sector. These constraints, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are particularly pronounced in non-metropolitan areas, an imbalance that national policy must always seek to correct.

The answer is to increase investment in the workforce of next-generation pharmacies with a high degree of literacy in managing increasingly complex medicines.

With clear pharmacist funding, more hospitals meet the ratio of national practice standards per patient bed, Guiding Principles for Achieving Dosing Continuity, Especially developed as part of the Pharmaceutical Reform Agreement.

Of course, these have additional benefits. Hospital pharmacists reduce pre-hospital, in-hospital, and post-hospital medical errors, reduce the risk of readmission at discharge, and reduce the harm caused by suboptimal use of medications at home, at home care facilities, or when moving. While that has been proven through research.

Unintentional misplacement of zeros or decimal points can lead to a fatal 10-fold overdose. It is these errors that hospital pharmacists can professionally detect and prevent harm to patients.

On a nationwide scale, we can’t afford to see any further increase in the current number of 250,000 drug-related hospitalizations per year, which costs $ 1.4 billion.

To get there, we need to fund more hospital pharmacy internships across the country. This establishes SHPA Foundation Residency and Advanced Training Residency, enabling rapid development of complex skills in a hospital environment.

Backed by long-term pharmacy services and support and awareness of optimal staffing, as outlined in national practice standards, we can stay one step ahead of the pharmaceutical industry with a stronger pharmacist labor. You can start building power.

Without the pharmacy director’s remarks, changes to the drug reform agreement would effectively reduce the size of the workforce, provide unsafe care, lack the supply of drugs at discharge, and inadequate review and adjustment of drug charts. , There is a possibility that there will be no input. For an interdisciplinary team that needs to embrace each and every patient.

A review of each of these policies provides a great opportunity to align with the current reality of their impact on access to and use of medicines.

We are proud of our much longer list of life-saving PBS grants and must be determined to ensure that they are always used safely and fairly in every corner of our country.

Image Credit: © stock.adobe.com / au / BluePlanet Studio

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