Remunerated medicine review follow-ups now allowed

21 April 2020


Australia’s elderly will be better supported to avoid medicine-related harm following important changes to Home Medicine Review (HMRs) and Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR) programs announced by the Government today.


In a move that has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), from Tuesday April 21, accredited pharmacists will be allowed two additional HMR and RMMR follow-ups with patients within nine months of the initial review.


Previously allowed just one review per patient every 24 months, PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said allowing additional medicine reviews was a necessary step to ensure elderly patients were properly cared for when it comes to the medicines they are taking.


“As medicines experts it is essential that pharmacists are able to properly review patient’s medications as well as provide advice to other members of the health care team to ensure the safe and quality use of medicines for the elderly,” he said.


“At a time where so much attention is given to managing the immediate COVID-19 pandemic, we must also not lose sight on the importance of chronic disease management and the safe and quality use of medicines.


“Medicine-related problems lead to 250,000 hospital admissions each year costing $1.4 billion annually. Patients who take more than one medicine are at risk of problems associated with their medicines and HMRs are vitally important in identifying these issues.


“The PSA has long advocated for a system that allows for medicine reviews to be conducted frequently that is dependent on patient’s needs, with meaningful follow-up and I commend the Government for making this necessary change.”


The programs will also now be able to be referred by other medical practitioners, not just General Practitioners which will allow for specialists in aged or chronic care to refer where a GP may not be available.


A/Prof Freeman said this measure on the back of the Government’s announcement last Friday to allow medicine reviews via telehealth will help deliver on the recommendations contained in the interim report into the Royal Commission into Safety and Quality in Aged Care.


“These services are very important for patients at risk of medicine related harm and important for the pharmacists and pharmacies whose livelihoods are supported by providing these essential medicine review services,” he said.


“I am proud that or skilled profession will be able to continue its vital role in supporting medicine safety through these medicine review programs.


“PSA will continue to work with the Government, the aged care sector and other healthcare professionals, residents and families to improve medicine safety in the community.”


Media contact: PSA media: 0487 922 176


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