New pharmacy dispensing deal sets ‘great temptation to bend the rules’

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Description

The current arrangement will allow Australians to continually access essential Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)-subsidised medicines without a prescription until at least 30 September, with the Federal Government citing the ongoing impact of COVID-19 as justification for the extension.
 
But GP and Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee ­– Quality Care (REC–QC) Professor Mark Morgan believes more transparency is needed on how the scheme will work over the long term for GPs and their patients, especially if the PSA is advocating for it to become the status quo.
 
‘Detail is missing about how this scheme is being evaluated and about how adherence to the rules is ensured,’ 

Subject

Pharmacy prescribing

Period4 Jul 2020

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleNew pharmacy dispensing deal sets ‘great temptation to bend the rules’
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletNews GP
    Media typeWeb
    CountryAustralia
    Date4/07/20
    DescriptionThe current arrangement will allow Australians to continually access essential Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)-subsidised medicines without a prescription until at least 30 September, with the Federal Government citing the ongoing impact of COVID-19 as justification for the extension.

    But GP and Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee ­– Quality Care (REC–QC) Professor Mark Morgan believes more transparency is needed on how the scheme will work over the long term for GPs and their patients, especially if the PSA is advocating for it to become the status quo.

    ‘Detail is missing about how this scheme is being evaluated and about how adherence to the rules is ensured,’ ...

    ‘GPs know their patients and communities. They are widely distributed and more accessible than ever with Medicare-funded telehealth, so it is hard to imagine many situations when the Continued Dispensing Emergency Measures will be needed.’...

    Professor Morgan said that although there is PSA guidance designed to ensure patient safety, the circumstances in which pharmacists can dispense medications without a prescription are ‘very tightly defined’ so there should be very few circumstances when it is necessary.

    ‘I think it is important for community pharmacists and GPs to work together, communicate well and to understand each other’s roles and responsibilities,’ he said. ‘That way patients receive the medications they need, at the time they need it, with minimum cost, minimum inconvenience and without being upsold unnecessary supplements and low-value treatments.’
    Producer/AuthorMorgan Liotta
    PersonsMark Morgan