LASA has welcomed the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) which commits more than $96 million next financial year to increase medication management, with a focus on aged care.

The Royal Commission’s Interim Report raised serious concerns about the use of antipsychotic pharmaceuticals in aged care and LASA worked closely with the Government to ensure strengthened medication reviews for older Australians.

“The allocation of $96.4m for medication management programs in Year 1 demonstrates a genuine commitment to helping aged care overcome some of the concerns highlighted by the Royal Commission,” Mr Rooney said.

“Importantly, the agreement states the intention to maintain the increased investment of $25.5 million a year in community pharmacy programs in response to the interim report of the Royal Commission in to Aged Care Quality and Safety.

“LASA strongly advocated for the aged care sector to be given a voice in the shape and scope of medication management programs.

“This includes the Quality Use of Medicines Services in aged care, plus enhanced Home Medicines Reviews and Residential Medication Management Reviews (follow up services).”

The 7CPA will provide $1.2billion for professional pharmacy programs such as medication reviews and Dose Administration Aids, (funding for Dose Administration Aids at this point in time does not extend to residential aged care).

“It will be important to understand the forward estimates allocation for funding for medication reviews in aged care,” said Mr Rooney.

“It is essential that funding for medication management and quality use of medicines for older Australians does not decrease in Years 2-5 and in fact increases to cater to the growing ageing population.

“The 7CPA also needs to clarify the reimbursement of pharmacists as part of multi-disciplinary case conferences which have been highlighted as a key strategy to improve clinical outcomes in aged care.

“We strongly support mechanisms being identified by the Government to enable pharmacists to take a pivotal role in these discussions.”

Telehealth is also not mentioned in the 7CPA, with LASA supporting the inclusion of this technology in the associated Program Rules.

“Telehealth has been approved for use in medication reviews during COVID-19 and appears to have been successful,” Mr Rooney said.

“The use of this technology to support, in particular, rural and remote communities should be offered as an option on an ongoing basis.”

The 7CPA was signed off by the Commonwealth, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and will begin 1 July 2020 and be in place until 30 June 2025.

Details on the 7CPA are available here

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au