Non-dispensing pharmacists a valuable addition to the GP team
AMA Victoria Chair of the Section of General Practice, Dr Ines Rio, has written about her positive experience of incorporating a non-dispensing pharmacist into her practice team. In the article, Dr Rio explains that while it is the role of a GP to plan and monitor the care of a patient, health professionals with specific skill sets are often required to work with the GP to achieve the best outcome for a patient.
“Non-dispensing practice pharmacists provide a wealth of potential benefits to both patient and doctor,” Dr Rio writes.
“Their deep expertise in pharmacotherapy positions them to help drive reductions in polypharmacy and drug-related problems (a cause of a significant number of hospital admissions), improve patient compliance through simpler dosing, enhance patient understanding of self-medication techniques, and save time for the GP.”
Dr Rio goes on to explain that the model aligns with the tenets of the Patient Centred Medical Home model, a model of health care which provides coordinated, patient-centred, whole person care delivered by team of health providers led by a GP. This is a model of care the AMA has long advocated for.
Overall, Dr Rio and her patients found the experience extremely positive, with the pharmacist identifying numerous issues.
“In short, non-dispensing pharmacists in general practice is an evidence-based model with significant potential benefits for individual patients, GPs, pharmacists and the healthcare system as a whole.”
The AMA supports the inclusion of non-dispensing pharmacists working in general practice. The AMA does not support dispensing and retail pharmacists from providing advice on medications beyond their scope of practice.