The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch President Chris Owen has welcomed the release of the National Medicines Policy framework, highlighting the focus on patient-centred medicines services, with the call for all healthcare professionals to work to their full scope to ensure the best outcomes for patients.
“The National Medicines Policy clears the way for independent prescribing community pharmacists in Australia, following the lead of the United Kingdom, Canada and in part New Zealand. This is an important moment in national medicine policy with the concrete realisation that Community Pharmacists can and should do more.”
“We support the policy framework calling for all Australians to have fair, timely, reliable and affordable access to high-quality medicines and medicines services, which strongly aligns with the North Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot. The Pilot will allow patients the option to seek treatment in their community pharmacy and access to treatments prescribed by their community pharmacist.
“The Pilot framework ensures collaboration between a patient, their pharmacist and GP through active communication and referrals, meaning patients will have more options for getting timely access to treatment.
“Through the extensive network of highly trained community pharmacists, we are already working with the community to ensure patients are well-informed on the safe and correct use of medicines and their healthcare needs are being met. We look forward to working closely with other healthcare professionals to support new and better ways to find and respond to patients’ health needs.
“Australian pharmacies are among the best in the world with teams that have the skills, knowledge and capacity for delivering world class primary care services. Everyone acknowledges that patients need more options when it comes to primary care due to the GP crisis and the inability to get an appointment in a timely manner.
“We’ve already shared a glimpse of what we are capable of through our considered and proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration of 9 million vaccines in Australian community pharmacies is a phenomenal achievement against the backdrop of a global health crisis,” said Mr Owen.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia remains committed to enhancing patient care and increasing access to world class healthcare services in Queensland.
Additional post graduate level training for community pharmacists participating in the Pilot is due to commence in February 2023.