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Pharmacists could be valuable support for doctors

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The AMA is holding top-level talks with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia on the integration of pharmacists into general practice.
As collaboration between health professionals deepens, the AMA and the Pharmaceutical Society are working together on how to include non-dispensing pharmacists in GP-led primary health care teams.

In a letter to AMA members, President Dr Steve Hambleton and Chair of the AMA Council of General Practice Dr Brian Morton, said that pharmacists have so far been largely left on the sidelines as nurses and allied health professional have increased their involvement in primary care teams led by GPs.
But the AMA officials said there were good reasons to seek to include pharmacists.

They said integrating pharmacists into primary care health teams could enhance the use and management of medicines, including reducing the number of adverse events.

“Integrating pharmacists into the multi-disciplinary primary care team would enable pharmacists to focus on what they are good at, and ensure that the care of patients is integrated, not fragmented or duplicated,” Dr Hambleton and Dr Morton wrote.

In addition to its work with the PSA, the AMA is conducting a survey of general practitioner members to get their views on the integration of pharmacists into GP-led primary care teams, including the contribution they could make, and how their work could be funded. The PSA is simultaneously conducting a similar survey of its members.

Adrian Rollins