Accredited pharmacists can provide up to 30 Home Medicine Review (HMR) services per month from this week (1 March 2020), in changes announced last week.
This is an increase on the current 20 HMRs per month cap, which has been in place since February 2014.
‘PSA has been calling for better access to medicine reviews for some time, most recently through recommendations contained in our Medicine Safety: Aged Care report’, PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said.
‘Medicine-related problems lead to 250,000 hospital admissions each year costing $1.4 billion annually. Medicine review services undertaken by accredited pharmacists, such as HMRs, are a key way in which problems with medicines are identified and resolved in partnership with consumers and their general practitioner.’
Delays before receiving an HMR from a pharmacist who has hit their HMR cap for the month should now be reduced.
Improved HMR access will also benefit Australians living in rural and remote parts of the country, who typically struggle with healthcare accessibility.
‘The cap of 20 HMRs per month particularly hits hard on consumers living in rural communities where there is usually no other accredited pharmacist available to provide the service,’ A/Prof Freeman said.
‘PSA has called for the removal of these caps since their inception … We are pleased with [the] announcement as a first step and we are committed to continue working with the government to further improve access to medicine review services.
‘This will allow pharmacists to continue to specialise in providing advanced medicine review services in the community, and we welcome this change to the HMR caps.’