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Pharmacists’ Skills Recognised in Govt Strategy

Pharmacists’ Skills Recognised in Government’s Medicines Strategy

The Pharmaceutical Society welcomes the release of the Government’s medicines strategy – Medicines New Zealand, and congratulates the United Future Party for initiating the moves to develop it. The strategy aims to ensure the best health outcomes from medicines through having timely and affordable access to safe and effective medicines that are used to the best effect.

Medicines New Zealand, and its accompanying action plan, acknowledges the key importance that the optimal use component plays. The Pharmaceutical Society President, Chris Budgen, is especially welcoming of the recognition given to pharmacists. "The strategy’s support for better use of pharmacists’ skills as an important way to achieve best use, and best health outcomes, from prescribed and purchased medicines are", says Mr Budgen, "fully-endorsed by the Pharmaceutical Society’s national executive and its members". The Society looks forward to working with officials and agencies to implement policies giving effect to optimal use activities that involve pharmacists.

Through the strategy, the Government accepts there are many barriers preventing pharmacists’ medicines management skills from being harnessed to full potential. Pharmacists welcome the opportunities presented by the strategy to focus on services that go beyond dispensing and towards helping people manage their medicines for the best results. The expanded role envisaged for pharmacists means working collaboratively with doctors and other health practitioners to support better health outcomes for individuals. It also means better use of hospital pharmacists’ skills especially during patients’ discharge and hand-over into primary care.

The Society supports other optimum use initiatives outlined in the strategy - relating to greater consumer access to quality information about medicines; greater access by health practitioners to best-practice information and guidance for quality prescribing; opportunities for team-based (collaborative) prescribing, and better systems for recording patients’ prescribing information and its retrieval where appropriate.

The future looks bright for enhanced use of pharmacists’ medicines management skills to get the best use of medicines. Already pharmacists are working within the District Health Boards' National Framework for Pharmacists’ Services and providing medicines use review services – in line with what is envisaged by the medicines strategy announced today. This work, and other pharmacists-led medicines management services, will play a large part in the successful implementation of the strategy, and in achieving the best health gains from medicines use.

ENDS

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