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Pharmacy Consultation Proposals Released For Discussion

Media release

18 February 2011

Pharmacy Consultation Proposals Released For Discussion

District Health Boards and PHARMAC, with support from community pharmacy agents, have today released consultation proposals for improving pharmacy services for people who require support to improve their health outcomes following the discussion documents process undertaken last November.

“The proposed changes to the Pharmaceutical Schedule’s rules have a patient, rather than a medicine, focus” DHBs’ spokesperson Sharon Kletchko says.

“They recognise the high needs and vulnerability of three particular groups of patients and support a multi-disciplinary clinical team approach to patient care, as do the 20 DHBs’ proposals which clarify the service expectations for these patients.”

“We have developed these proposals after considering feedback from 146 written submissions, and meetings with a range of stakeholders.”

She says the intent of the proposals is to improve pharmacy services that high needs patients can receive, with an emphasis on obtaining the clinical support they need with their medicines so they become as self-managing as possible and achieve better health results.

The proposals have identified three vulnerable groups of patients most likely to benefit from a more clearly specified pharmacy service approach and these groups are:

· People with long term conditions who have multiple co-morbidities (problems), require multiple medications and have limited self-management ability which compromises their health and life expectancy if they don’t adhere to their treatment regime.

· People in Age Related Residential Care (ARRC)

· People with mental and intellectual disabilities who live in community residences funded by DHBs or the Ministry of Health.

20 DHBs’ proposed that patients either meet the criteria for Close Control, or otherwise be eligible to receive services through one of the three DHB service proposals (Close Control rules will not apply to these services).

They also proposed to clarify service expectations for People in ARRC, Community Residences and Penal Institutions; and similarly the service expectations for people with Long Term Conditions.

“This is an opportunity for all individuals and groups – including those working in age related residential care, mental health and disability and primary care as well as consumers or consumer organisations –- who have an interest in influencing the direction pharmacy services to make a contribution,” Dr Kletchko says.

“We value pharmacists’ clinical health professional skills, as we do the skills of the multi-disciplinary teams and their contributions to primary health care delivery. That is why we want their involvement in this inclusive and transparent process.”

“I urge those who are involved or interested to read the overview document and the proposals,” she says.

The next step will be DHB decisions post consultation that will feed through to the Community Pharmacy Services Agreement which covers around 900 community pharmacies in New Zealand.


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