Pharmacy trials are not answer – AMA questions states

Australian Medical Association

The AMA has posed six questions to state governments conducting pharmacy prescribing trials asking them to explain how they can justify responding to GP shortages with second-class policies that risk patient safety.

The AMA today launched a video asking state governments six questions about pharmacy prescribing trials, which threaten patient safety and undermine Australia’s world-class health system.

AMA President Professor Steve Robson said the trials presented a clear risk to patient safety and ignored ethical concerns about the separation of prescribing and dispensing medicines and could result in an increase in anti-microbial resistance and emergence of more superbugs.

“Responding to GP shortages with second-class policy solutions that trample on the advice of independent bodies, such as the Pharmacy Board of Australia and the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and bypass established national processes that exist to protect patient safety, is not the answer,” he said.

“GPs train for 12-15 years to have the expertise to diagnose conditions that are being covered in some of these trials.

“You can’t replace that training and experience with a few hours of weekly online training without putting patients at risk.

“General practitioners are highly skilled and equipped to diagnose the difference between a UTI and other serious and potentially deadly health conditions.

“They are equipped to take a full medical history of their patients and understand the full range of contraceptive options available to women.”

The President’s six questions are:

  1. What are you doing to make sure there’s no potential conflict of interest in these trials?
  2. Why are you blocking some of the most vulnerable women from access to the full range of contraceptive options?
  3. Why do you think it’s acceptable to shift the cost of paying for medicines from the Government to the patient?
  4. Why are you ignoring the advice of Australia’s medicines regulators in deciding what can be prescribed in a pharmacy?
  5. Why are you ignoring the position of the Pharmacy Board in determining that pharmacists can autonomously prescribe the medications they sell?
  6. When did you determine that your citizens no longer deserve the world-class care provided by GPs?

/AMA/AusMed News. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).