Leading Medical Research Reveals Real Patient Benefits from Pharmacist Prescribing

Canadian health care expert, Professor Ross Tsuyuki, is visiting Australia to share his extensive research supporting pharmacists practising to their full scope to deliver better patient outcomes.

Professor Tsuyuki, Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology, University of Alberta (Canada), has produced several presentations and peer-reviewed journals exploring full scope, the need for independent pharmacist prescribing and improved patient outcomes.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch President, Chris Owen, said that Professor Tsuyuki’s world-class research demonstrates the clinical support in other leading jurisdictions for the need for community pharmacist to be practising to their full scope of practice.

“Pharmacists in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and parts of New Zealand are able to practice to their full scope. Evidence is showing that this is providing real and tangible patient benefits.”

“His research has provided good evidence supporting the fact that patients benefit from pharmacists practising to their full scope of practice. The research, published in 2015, shows improvements in the management of hypertension (high blood pressure), HbA1c (diabetes), hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol), cardiovascular risk, uncomplicated urinary tract infections, and so on, but also cost-savings and, importantly, patient preferences.” (Tsuyuki and Watson, 2020).

“For example, one in five Canadians has hypertension,” said Mr. Owen, “Patients in the province of Alberta can access independent prescribing by pharmacists, offering the unique opportunity to evaluate outcomes in patients who are prescribed antihypertensive therapy by pharmacists.” (Tsuyuki et al., 2015).

“It was shown in another study that pharmacists had sustained a clinical cure rate of 88.9% for uncomplicated urinary tract infection,” said Mr. Owen, “patients were very satisfied with the quality of care they received – they trusted and supported the pharmacist’s role.” (Tsuyuki, 2021)

“Multiple studies have now shown that pharmacist prescribing is clinically efficacious and a cost-effective means to improve both access and quality of care.”

“Over many years, Professor Tsuyuki’s research has found that independent models provide equal opportunities for patient-centred care when information flows both ways between general practitioners and pharmacists.” (Tsuyuki and Watson, 2020).”

Canadian full scope expert, Professor Ross Tsuyuki, addressed pharmacy industry attendees last week at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference and Exhibition (APP2022) on 24-27 March. Professor Tsuyuki spoke about his research and strong evidence supporting full scope of practice from an international perspective in the powerful presentation.

Prof Tsuyuki used the example of hypertension, which is associated with approximately 10% of direct medical costs globally – more than half of all heart disease and stroke are attributable to hypertension (Tsuyuki et al., 2017).

“Clinical trial evidence has demonstrated that the benefits of pharmacist intervention, including education, consultation and/or prescribing, can help to reduce blood pressure, achieve better patient outcomes and save the healthcare system $15.7B over thirty years (Tsuyuki et al., 2017),” said Prof. Tsuyuki

“In my home Province of Alberta, Canada, primary health care providers, including pharmacists and general practitioners, work together every day to provide a strong continuum of care for patients. Pharmacists working to their full scope of practice has been working well to benefit patients for many years.”

Mr Owen said the proposed North Queensland Community Pharmacy Pilot will see community pharmacists able to treat patients for common health conditions, such as pain management, ear, nose and throat conditions, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

“In order to take part in the Pilot, community pharmacists would first have to undertake

further university post-graduate study supervised over 12-16 months,” said Mr Owen, “enabling pharmacists to work to their full scope is critical to ensure all Queensland communities have access to health care. Community pharmacies are uniquely placed to be able to deliver this.”

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