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AMA warns against potentially harmful pharmacy prescribing models


AMA launched a campaign to address flaws in pharmacy prescribing models and suggest solutions to improve access and affordability for Australians.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has launched a new campaign called “You Deserve More,” aimed at addressing the flaws in pharmacy prescribing models and suggesting solutions to improve access and affordability for Australians while maintaining their safety. The campaign warns against “go-it-alone” models that could potentially threaten safety, fragment care and undermine Australia’s healthcare system.

AMA President Professor Steve Robson said patients deserve more than just trials that put their safety at risk. He believes that governments should invest in evidence-based solutions to improve access to general practice and affordability of medicines, rather than treating patients as customers at a counter. Robson stresses the importance of patients receiving care from qualified professionals who can properly diagnose them and provide the best health outcomes.

Robson warns against the international trend of autonomous pharmacy prescribing, which is being implemented in several Australian states and territories without appropriate trial or governance. He cites international evidence that does not support this approach and argues that it has the potential to harm patients. Robson argues that this model also undermines years of development, consultation, and agreement on national tried and tested governance frameworks overseen by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

The AMA suggests alternatives to this approach, including funding to improve access to care including after-hours, supporting GPs to deliver care in aged care facilities and supporting them to spend longer with patients. They also recommend implementing the recommendations of the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee on two-month dispensing and 12-month prescribing, as well as encouraging competition by changing pharmacy ownership and location rules and allowing pharmacies to discount the co-payment by more than $1.

“We want governments to look at the evidence and work with doctors to design safe and robust models that are backed by evidence and won’t further fragment care. Our You deserve more campaign clearly explains why these go-it-alone models aren’t in patients’ best interest and, more importantly, outlines the solutions governments are looking for,” Robson said.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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