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Media release

General practice supports pharmacists as part of GP-led teams

1 July 2015

Australia’s general practice leaders have given in principle support to the concept of employing non-dispensing pharmacists to work in general practice as part of a GP led team.

Members of United General Practice Australia (UGPA) said pharmacists should be welcomed into GP-led teams to support the delivery of healthcare services and improve patient outcomes.

Non-dispensing pharmacists in general practice can assist GPs in a range of areas including medication management, educating patients about medications and supporting GPs to prescribe by providing advice on medication interactions and newly available medications.

Incorporating non-dispensing pharmacists as part of the general practice team has the potential to improve prescribing and the use of medicines, reduce hospital admissions from adverse drug events, and deliver better health outcomes for patients.

UGPA members emphasised the importance of collaboration between GPs and pharmacists.

The addition of pharmacists in general practice would be designed to make the best use of the valuable skills that pharmacists can bring to a patient’s care, while working within a GP-led team of health professionals.

UGPA continues to reject proposals to expand pharmacists’ scope of practice highlighting that, in contrast to pharmacists working as part of a general practice team, this would fragment care and risk poorer outcomes for patients.

Patients deserve well-coordinated, comprehensive care and GPs must be at the centre of any team-based healthcare model. 

UGPA comprises the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN), General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA), General Practice Supervisors Australia (GPSA), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).

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