The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) recently accepted the Victorian Government budget commitments and funding initiatives, which will improve the pharmacy business in Australia.
“The commitment to progressing real-time prescription reporting aligns with PSA calls in its recent policy paper, minimising harm from the inappropriate use of over-the-counter analgesics, to implement such a system,” Ben Marchant, acting Victorian Branch president of the PSA, said. “PSA supports real-time recording and reporting for codeine, and the Victorian Government move is an important step in managing and identifying possible inappropriate use of some medicines, while also focusing on the continued quality use of medicines.”
Thanks to the initiatives, citizens can have better access to pharmacy services. The budget also helps to apply real-time reporting, which will reduce the improper usage of medicines.
“The 24/7 pharmacy model increases patient access to vital services while also reducing pressure on doctors and hospital services,” Marchant said. “They recognise the changing needs of many people who cannot readily access a pharmacy during regular opening hours. The PSA has experience in implementing after-hours pharmacy services and looks forward to sharing this experience with the Victorian Government.”
The Victorian Government agreed to allocate $28.7 million to 15 metropolitan and five rural pharmacies.
“The increased spending on mental health is particularly welcome and is something PSA has long advocated for,” Marchant said. “The pharmacist is more often than not the first healthcare professional a person with mental illness may see, and so our role is fundamental to their wellbeing.”
Now these pharmacies will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; $300,000 has been dedicated to planning and establishing a real-time system to monitor prescriptions. Another $117.8 million has been added to mental health funds.
“As detailed in the recent National Review of Mental Health Programs and Services report by the Mental Health Commission (MHC), there is a strong role for pharmacists in assisting people with mental illness,” Marchant said. “The PSA has been involved in developing these roles -- we anticipate seeing this role further integrated into the service mix for people with mental illness and will be seeking talks with the government to help move this forward.”