Australia’s elderly will be better supported to avoid medicine-related harm under a relaxing of caps restricting access to Home Medicine Reviews (HMRs) announced today.
In changes announced today, accredited pharmacists will be able to provide up to 30 HMRs per month from 1 March 2020, an increase of the current 20 HMRs per month cap which has existed since February 2014.
“PSA welcomes this change which will help increase consumer access to HMRs across the country,” National President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman said. “PSA have been calling for better access to medicine reviews for some time, most recently through recommendations contained in our Medicine Safety: Aged care report released earlier this week.”
“Medicine-related problems lead to 250,000 hospital admissions each year costing $1.4 billion annually. Medicine review services undertaken by accredited pharmacists, such as HMRs, are a key way in which problems with medicines are identified and resolved in partnership with consumers and their general practitioner.”
Home Medicine Reviews not only can improve a patient’s quality of life, but can save lives. We know that patients who take more than one medicine can be at risk of major problems associated with their medicines. Home Medication Reviews can improve the outcomes from medicine use in Australia, said Associate Professor Freeman
“Our members have told us of significant delays consumers have experienced waiting for the calendar to tick over to the next month before being able to receive a HMR from their pharmacist who has hit their HMR cap for the month”, Associate Professor Freeman said. “Australians living in rural and remote parts of the country are one of the main groups to struggle with health care accessibility. The cap of 20 HMRs per month particularly hits hard on consumers living in rural communities where there is usually no other accredited pharmacists available to provide the service.”
“PSA has called for the removal of these caps since their inception. We would like to thank the Minister for Health for this announcement today on behalf of all pharmacists and their patients. We are pleased with today’s announcement as a first step and we are committed to continue working with Government to further improve access to medicine review services.”