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Pain MedsCheck delayed

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Delays to new MedsCheck “disappointing” but revised start date expected soon, Guild says

The new pharmacy Pain MedsCheck program, announced in January by Health Minister Greg Hunt, is set to have a delayed introduction due to the need to meet Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.

In a bulletin sent to Pharmacy Guild members last week, Guild national president George Tambassis said “I know that a delay to the original timeline is disappointing as many Guild members are keen to commence delivering Pain MedsChecks for their patients as soon as possible”.

“However, it is important to ensure the service being trialled is robust and is able to be assessed for clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness and comparative safety,” he said.

“Establishing sound outcomes from the trial provides further evidence to support the expanded role of community pharmacy within the primary health care team, which is in the long term interests of community pharmacies”.

Mr Tambassis said the $20 million initiative, one of the 6CPA Pharmacy Trial Programs, was originally slated by the Minister to kick off in February. He said the Guild and the government were “working collaboratively” to ensure it will be running as soon as possible, “with a date to be announced shortly”.

Meanwhile, the Guild members bulletin also announced delays in the $30 million scheme to allow community pharmacies to participate in the Health Care Homes trial.

The Guild initially hoped to have pharmacies deliver the program from early April, but “it is now clear that it is likely to be late April or May before the program will be able to commence on-the-ground”, Mr Tambassis said.   

“Again, this is disappointing but equally it is vital that we get this ground-breaking program right,” he said.

“This is an exciting initiative as, for the first time, it recognises the role of community pharmacy as an integral part of a patient’s care team and will remunerate pharmacies not just for occasions of service but for overall medicines support planning and implementation”.

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