General Practice Pharmacist Employer information

Enhance your general practice

Take advantage of the expansion of the Workforce Incentive Program and add a pharmacist to your team

What is a GP Pharmacist and what do they do?

A General Practice Pharmacist works directly and collaboratively with GPs and other health professionals to support the quality use of medicines. From undertaking medication reviews and providing medication advice to patients, to conducting clinical audits and providing education to GPs and other practice staff, a general practice pharmacist supports the quality use of medicines through a variety of activities.

References:

Capital Health Network. ACT PHN Pharmacist in general practice pilot 2016-2018. 2018. At:  www.chnact.org.au/sites/default/files/CHN_PiPG.pdf

Deeks LS, Kosari S, Naunton M, et al. Stakeholder perspectives about general practice pharmacists in the Australian Capital Territory: a qualitative pilot study. Aust J Prim Health 2018 Jul;24(3):263-72.

What do I need in a GP Pharmacist?

As the peak national professional pharmacy organisation representing all pharmacists working in all practice settings, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) recommends the following criteria as ideal characteristics and experience for pharmacists working in general practice:

 

  • Current registration as a pharmacist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) (essential)
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience post-registration
  • Complete or be enrolled in the PSA General Practice Pharmacist Foundation Training
  • Medication Management Review accreditation is desirable but not essential.  Accreditation is available through the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) or The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)

 

How do I fund a GP Pharmacist in my practice?

From 1 February 2020 the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) expanded to include pharmacists for the first time. Practically this means that eligible general practices who receive incentives through the WIP – Practice Stream will be able to use these funds to support the employment of a pharmacist.

Benefits of a general practice pharmacist

  • On average, pharmacists employed approximately 16 hours a week may relieve 4 hours of GP time/week.
  • It is estimated that a clinical audit undertaken by one pharmacist in an Australian trial lead to a cost saving of approximately $125,700 over 3 years and $183,000 over 5 years.

 

Reference: Capital Health Network. ACT PHN Pharmacist in general practice pilot 2016-2018. 2018. At: www.chnact.org.au/sites/default/files/CHN_PiPG.pdf

Supported by GPs

The benefits of employing a pharmacist in general practice have been recognised by GPs, and evidence from both Australia and internationally have shown the value pharmacists provide. These benefits include:

  • improved chronic disease management
  • improved medicines use
  • reduced costs to both patients and the government.

 

Experience in Australia has found that both GPs and primary health workers had positive experiences working with a pharmacist in general practice.

 

The AMA has also supported pharmacists working in general practice and in their Commonwealth Government proposal have identified multiple situations where pharmacists can support improved medicines use and better patient outcomes.

 

Results from Australian trials

  • 100% of GPs surveyed in one trial were ‘highly satisfied’ with the medication management support pharmacists provided.
  • Patients have reported being ‘highly satisfied’ with consultations with the pharmacists.
  • In one study 78.6% of healthcare workers made referrals to the general practice pharmacist.
  • GPs reported improved relations with community pharmacy due to having a general practice pharmacist.

 

References:

Capital Health Network. ACT PHN Pharmacist in general practice pilot 2016-2018. 2018. At: www.chnact.org.au/sites/default/files/CHN_PiPG.pdf

Tan EC, Stewart K, Elliott RA, et al. Pharmacist consultations in general practice clinics: the Pharmacists in Practice Study (PIPS). Res Social Adm Pharm 2014 Jul-Aug;10(4):623-32.

Deeks LS, Kosari S, Naunton M, et al. Stakeholder perspectives about general practice pharmacists in the Australian Capital Territory: a qualitative pilot study. Aust J Prim Health 2018 Jul;24(3):263-72.

Success stories

“A useful addition to the team” GP clinical staff survey

 

“It would be very very disappointing if we were to lose our GP pharmacist as the benefits we have gained have been very beneficial for both staff and patients” GP clinical staff survey

Delivering real patient outcomes

Improvements in patient outcomes from pharmacist interventions in Australian trials:

  • In one practice 8% of patients had good asthma control (measured by the Asthma Control Test) initially, which increased to 54% of patients after pharmacist intervention.
  • One study found the median-number of medication-related problems per patient (as identified by the pharmacist) was two initially, which reduced to zero 6 months after the patient had a pharmacist consultation.
  • Patient adherence to their medication has also been found to significantly improve after a pharmacist consultation (Morisky scale 44.1% vs 62.7%, Tool for Adherence Behaviour Screening (TABS) 35.6% vs 57.6%).

 

References:

Capital Health Network. ACT PHN Pharmacist in general practice pilot 2016-2018. 2018. At: www.chnact.org.au/sites/default/files/CHN_PiPG.pdf

Tan EC, Stewart K, Elliott RA, et al. Pharmacist consultations in general practice clinics: the Pharmacists in Practice Study (PIPS). Res Social Adm Pharm 2014 Jul-Aug;10(4):623-32.

Pharmacist recommendations enhancing general practice

Results from Australian trials have indicated pharmacist recommendations in general practice were well accepted:

  • In one trial the mean number of pharmacist recommendations made per patient ranged from 2.2-4.3 (72-94% of recommendations were accepted by the GP).
  • 70% of recommendations from pharmacists related to drug-related problems were accepted by the patient’s GP.
  • 73% of pharmacist recommendations in one trial were related to changes in therapy.
  • One study found 88% of pharmacist recommendations after patient consultations were accepted by GPs.

 

References:

Tan EC, Stewart K, Elliott RA, et al. Pharmacist consultations in general practice clinics: the Pharmacists in Practice Study (PIPS). Res Social Adm Pharm 2014 Jul-Aug;10(4):623-32.

WentWest. Western Sydney general practice pharmacist program. 2018. At: http://wentwest.com.au/documents/resources/reports/WSGPPP2018-_WEB.pdf

Benson H, Lucas C, Benrimoj SI, et al. Pharmacists in general practice: recommendations resulting from team-based collaborative care. Aust J Prim Health 2018 Jan;24(6):448-54.

Benson H, Sabater-Hernández D, Benrimoj SI, et al. Piloting the integration of non-dispensing pharmacists in the Australian general practice setting: a process evaluation. Int J Integr Care 2018 Apr;18(2):4.

Join the Community

Join the PSA General Practice Pharmacist Online Community of Practice and access a space to network, share information and discuss industry-specific matters.

Advanced Stage Training

Advanced workshops are being offered across Australia to support your work in general practice and individual professional development needs.

 

Workshops will cover both clinical and non-clinical topics. For further information or to register your interest, please email gppharmacist@psa.org.au

Working to change the system

Hear what Katja Naunton-Boom has to say about working as a General Practice Pharmacist.