News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


NZRGPN responds to the UTI prescribing protocol for pharmacy

December 3, 2012

NZRGPN responds to the UTI prescribing protocol for pharmacy

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network supports the exploration of new models of primary health care, but changes should be integrated within the existing system and not in isolation, says Network chairman Dr Jo Scott-Jones.

“This is a basic principle that must be applied whenever introducing changes to the health care system if we are to provide patients with ongoing safe, acceptable, affordable health care,” he says.

His comments follow the recent announcement that specially trained pharmacists can now sell a three-day course of trimethoprim to women aged 16-65 with uncomplicated UTIs who meet certain criteria. Earlier this year (May) Medsafe reclassified trimethoprim. Pharmacists at Amcal, Care Chemist, Life, Radius and Unichem community pharmacies this month began offering the service.

Dr Scott-Jones says pharmacists have a huge amount to offer the patient in the community and there is no doubt that they are underutilised at present, however this initiative is not the best way to make the best use of all they can do.

“The Network has been a long-term advocate for system changes that improve access to patients for care, best illustrated in the PRIME and rural ACC services, both of which demonstrate the expanded use of skilled nurses within primary healthcare teams.

“Utilising members of the primary health care team to the peak of their confidence and competence is a key response the system will need to make in order to address the growth demand for increasingly poorly resourced health care services in the future.

“There is a significant difference between this and the approach taken in development and implementation of the expanded use of pharmacy skills in both the administration of treatment for UTIs and the management of Warfarin in the community.

“The Network does not believe that these initiatives have taken any account of the need for care to be applied in a way that is integrated into the primary health care team with which the patient identifies.

“It is within the context of a primary health care team that patient safety, acceptability of care, and improved health outcomes and better value for money have been shown to be consistently improved.

“Fragmenting care by increasing the number of prescribers working independently of each other leads to increased health system costs, poorer long term outcomes, and compromises patient safety.

The safety of the pharmacist has to be considered too, says Dr Scott-Jones.

“For example, while cystitis is often a fairly straightforward issue, we still frequently find that urine results do not reflect the symptoms and bring up other issues.”

"This change is intended as a ‘Trojan Horse’ that will lead on to bigger changes in the future. The potential downstream implications of increasing access to prescription medicines outside of the current system has not been thought through well enough.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news