Waiting for the government

A review of current HMR funding arrangements should be at the forefront of the planned review of 6CPA professional service programs, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia believes.

Guild executive director David Quilty told Pharmacy News the Guild was keen to see a timetable on the planned reviews, which are written into the 6CPA.

As reported by Pharmacy News leading clinical pharmacist Debbie Rigby is advocating increasing the current cap of 20 reviews per month per accredited pharmacist, to 20 per week.

Her comments follow the publication of a major Australian systematic review which found that each HMR led to an average 3.6 fewer medication-related problems. Overall, it found HMRs resulted in a 45% reduction in hospitalisations and a 9.1% reduction in overall medication costs.

Mr Quilty says the government has made it clear that funding for the current financial year (2015/16) will remain consistent with existing arrangements.  

“These arrangements will continue till the independent review of all 6CPA professional service programs, outlined in the agreement, takes place,” he said.

“The current situation is that we’re still waiting for the Department of Health to indicate how this review will work, and we’ve not heard from the government a timetable for the reviews to take place”.

The Guild is urging that the review of existing programs, such as HMRs, gets underway as soon as possible, he says.

“In the interest of business clarity for pharmacies, and clinical pharmacists, we obviously want to have as many reviews completed during the current financial year, so people can go into the next with some certainty.”  

“All relevant evidence will be brought to bear on these reviews, and there is now quite a lot of evidence arguing for the utility of HMRs,” he said