Handful of pills

The Australian Medical Association is urging the federal government to support its proposal for a new Pharmacist in General Practice Incentive Program (PGPIP) that would see non-dispensing pharmacists incorporated into general practice health care teams.

Announcing the scheme, AMA President, Assoc Prof Brian Owler spoke of greater efficiencies for general practices, better care for patients, new career opportunities for pharmacists, and significant Budget savings across the whole health system.

“Under this program, pharmacists within general practice would assist with things such as medication management, providing patient education on their medications, and supporting GP prescribing with advice on medication interactions and newly available medications,” he said.

“Evidence shows that the AMA plan would reduce fragmentation of patient care, improve prescribing and use of medicines, reduce hospital admissions from adverse drug events (ADE), and deliver better health outcomes for patients.”

An independent analysis by Deloitte Access Economics shows the AMA proposal would deliver a benefit-cost ratio of 1.56, meaning every dollar invested in the program generates $1.56 in savings to the health system.

Deloitte Access Economics estimates that, if 3,100 general practices took up the PGPIP, it would cost the Federal Government $969.5 million over four years.

However, this would be more than offset through broader savings to the health system in hospital expenditure, and PBS and MBS outlays.

The model was developed in consultation with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

See the Pharmacist in General Practice Incentive Program (including the Deloitte Access Economics analysis) for details.