General Practice Pharmacists - Improving Patient Care

The AMA has released a proposal to make non-dispensing pharmacists a key part of the future general practice health care team, supporting GPs to deliver high quality care for their patients.

The proposal calls on the Commonwealth to establish a funding program to support general practices to employ pharmacists - the Pharmacist in General Practice Incentive Program (PGPIP).

Under the AMA plan, pharmacists working in general practices would assist in areas such as medication management, patient education, and by supporting GP prescribing with advice on medication interactions and newly available medications.  

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 (ADEs) and deliver better health outcomes for patients.

The proposal is backed by an independent analysis from the highly respected Deloitte Access Economics, which shows that the AMA’s proposal delivers a benefit-cost ratio of 1.56, which means that for every $1 invested in the program it generates $1.56 in savings to the health system.

Deloitte Access Economics estimate that if 3,100 general practices take 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 the following areas:

  • Hospital savings of $1.266 billion – due to reduced number of hospital admissions following a severe ADEs; 
  • PBS savings of $180.6 million – due to the reduced number of prescriptions from better prescribing and medication compliance;
  • Individual patient savings of $49.8 million – reduced co-payments for medical consultations and medicines; and.
  • MBS savings of $18.1 million – due to reduced number of GP attendances following a moderate or severe ADE. 

The AMA has developed this model in consultation with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and it has the full backing of the PSA.

Details of the proposed PGPIP as well as the Deloitte Access Economics report are available for download below.

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