Pharmacists working within general practice – the way ahead

22 Jun, 2014


The AMA and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) are working together on the development of a model to better support a more integrated role for pharmacists to work in GP clinics as part of the primary care team.

Recent surveys conducted by the AMA and the PSA showed strong interest from many members of both organisations for such an arrangement, which could enhance patient care.

The benefits include improved use of medicines, reduced adverse drug events, and better coordination of patient care.

It has been estimated that there are 190,000 hospital admissions each year as the result of adverse drug events, and this costs the health system $660 million per year.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said today that already some GPs and pharmacists are working together in a more integrated and collaborative model and this is proving to be successful, albeit on a small scale.

“This team care approach has shown that the model is beneficial to pharmacists, doctors, and patients at time when the ageing population and increasing chronic disease are putting added pressures on the healthcare system,” Mr Kardachi said.

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said that it is important that GPs and pharmacists complement each other, not compete with each other.

“With the growing burden of chronic disease, we are seeing patients with very complex medication therapies,” A/Prof Owler said.

“By encouraging pharmacists to practise collaboratively with doctors in GP clinics we will improve communication and assist in managing these complex medication regimens.”

Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Dr Lance Emerson, said it was important to develop appropriate funding parameters for any such collaborative model,  and the PSA and the AMA would work together to progress the development of the model.

“This is a very important project that will have significant health benefits for consumers,” Dr Emerson said.

“The PSA and the AMA will work collaboratively to ensure that any model decided upon is viable and sustainable for GPs and pharmacists who work together in these clinics.”

A/Prof Owler said that ensuring any agreed model was viable and sustainable would ensure the benefits arising from its implementation were long lasting and tangible.

“We are working very closely to develop a model that produces the best outcomes for patients and health professionals, while also providing long-term budgetary benefits for the Government,” A/Prof Owler said.

The AMA has produced videos to promote Family Doctor Week 2014:

This video (mute) has been produced so that general practices can play it in their waiting rooms for the information of their patients:

All the videos can be downloaded from the AMA Family Doctor Week website at 100% 50% no-repeat;”>

AMA Family Doctor Week is sponsored by Australian General Practice Training.


John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

Sanja Novakovic                 02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753


Peter Waterman                 02 6283 4782 /  0487 922 176

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