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Keep it affordable and convenient for the patient

25 Jun, 2014

reference:http://www.mps.org.my/newsmaster.cfm?&menuid=36&action=view&retrieveid=3906

MALAYSIA has one of the best primary healthcare services in Asia. Anyone feeling unwell can walk into any government clinic and be seen by a medical personnel including a qualified doctor though the wait may be long.

Similarly patients can see a private practitioner at any time of the day as long as it is the working hour of the clinic and treatment is affordable. The government had allowed private primary care doctors to charge a maximum of RM135 but it is rarely followed.

We have enjoyed a good healthcare system since independence despite complaints from some quarters of shortcomings but generally the healthcare is of quality and affordable.

The issue of separating dispensing from the general practitioner to exclusively to the pharmacist has caused a lot of worry to the medical provider and patients. The drawback is patients would have to visit two venues to be treated: a clinic and then the pharmacy.

Patients worry if the exact medication will be available in pharmacies as prescribed or the pharmacist may dispense alternatives with a similar active component or something close to the active substance.

It is essential that the doctor have the feeling of satisfaction that the patient has taken the right prescribed medication and not something different.

The issues that need to be thought about in detail:

» Are pharmacists available throughout the opening times of the pharmacy and will there be 24-hour retail pharmacies? The question of economic viability for a pharmacist and their assistants to keep a 24-hour service going and the restriction of such service in shopping malls and the security in shop lots is much to be desired.

» The cost of medication and consultation will be separated. It is obvious that the cost cannot be clumped as one thus the total increase of treatment cost will be unavoidable.

» The convenience of having the doctor to monitor the patient’s progress based on the exact medication prescribed will no longer be the same and the time spent by the patient in having to visit two places for one complaint: the doctor and the pharmacist is not economical for the patient. The whole idea of integration of healthcare with the spirit of one stop will be defeated.

In the early days: pharmacists were involved in the compounding of medication that would mean preparing medication based on active ingredients but most medications today are prepared in doses and packaged by pharmaceutical companies under strict protocols.

Pharmacists particularly community pharmacists now advise patients in terms of selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications, and act as a learned intermediary between a prescriber and a patient but in Malaysia and some Asian countries this role is done well by the doctors as medical studies have a compulsory pharmacology subject.

The role of pharmacists is probably more important in hospitals where the prescription is done by various specialties and the need of details are more necessary than primary care.

It is hoped that doctors in primary care play a greater role in dispensing as they are qualified to do so thus the need to separate this service is avoided to steer clear of unnecessary difficulties to both medical providers and patients.

Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh
Petaling Jaya

– See more at: http://www.mps.org.my/newsmaster.cfm?&menuid=36&action=view&retrieveid=3906#sthash.h4Ef4T3s.dpuf

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Costs of Common Medications

Costs of Common Medications

Prudence & Cost of Your Medications

* How many medications are you taking every day?

* Have you been taking some medications on long term basis?

* How much are you paying for your medications per month?

Let us share the following tips for saving on how much you spend on your medications. If you have better ideas on how to save more, do email us so that we can share them with everyone.

1. Be responsible for your health and illness.Find out more about how you can stay healthy or how you can improve your health by adopting a healthy lifestyle and following your doctor’s and pharmacist’s advice. When your health condition is well-controlled, your doctor will not need to increase the dose of your medications or increase the number of your medications or change to different medications. You can then save on cost of your medications.

2. Know your medications, take them correctly. Understand why you are taking each medication, how it works and how to take it correctly. You may have consulted the best doctor who prescribed the best treatment, but if you are not taking the prescribed medication correctly, your condition will not improve. It may even go out of control, resulting in hospitalization or an earlier visit to your doctor.

3. Ask your pharmacist.Talk to your pharmacist who is a trained medication expert, to find out more about your medications. The pharmacist will advise you on how to use your medications correctly. If you are taking more than 5 medications or if you are consulting more than one doctor, do bring all your medications to the pharmacist for a “medication check-up” at least once a year. The pharmacist will check that you are taking the correct medication, a safe combination of medications and the correct dose. The pharmacist will ensure that you are not taking different brands of the same medications which can look different but contain the same active drug or you are not taking a medication that you do not need anymore or you are not taking a medication that gives you a bad side-effect. With a “medication check-up”, the pharmacist will help you to get the most benefit from your medications, reduce wastage of your medications and prevent unnecessary hospitalization or unplanned doctor’s visit. This will be translated to more savings.

4. To reduce medication cost, ask you pharmacist for cheaper options. A pharmacist is familiar with the prices of most medications. As a medication expert, the pharmacist can help you and your doctor select an affordable medication that works. The same medication may be available in the more expensive branded (proprietary) or cheaper house-brand (generic) forms. The pharmacist can also provide you with the prices of the proprietary and generic brands of the medications that you are taking so that you can make an informed decision before paying for your medications.

The proprietary medicines, commonly known as “branded” or “original”, usually cost more than the generic equivalence because of the heavy investment in research and development (R&D) required to develop each medication. Most governments give the proprietary companies a period of patent for these companies to recover their investment. When the patent expires, other companies will launch similar “house-brand” products. As these generic manufacturing companies do not need to invest in R&D, marketing and advertising costs, the cost of the medications are cheaper. All medications, including generic ones, are licensed by the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore (HSA) before they can be supplied or sold to the public in Singapore.

5. Itemized billing. When you collect or buy your medications, ask for a breakdown of the bill of each medication, for example the price of 30 tablets or one 50ml-bottle of cough mixture. You should have the same looking receipt as those you get from your supermarket where each item’s price is listed. Then you can compare the price of that brand of each medication from different clinics and pharmacies. If you prefer, you may ask your doctor for a prescription so that you can check the prices and purchase the medicine from outlet which gives you the best price and services.

6. Know when you can look after yourself. If you have a minor ailment such as cough and cold for 1-2 days, you may choose to self-medicate (treat yourself) by seeking appropriate advice and medicines from the pharmacist. This may be more convenient and less costly.

Here is a list of the commonly prescribed medications and their suggested retail price range for general reference.

– Prices are obtained from the community pharmacy chains, not public hospital or polyclinic.

– Prices may differ due to varying volume of sales at different pharmacies.

– Prices could be subjected to change without prior notice.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore shall not be held liable for any inaccuracy of the information contained therein.

For Full Content, Please Refer to the Source!

Source:http://pss.org.sg/pss/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1342:costs-of-common-medications&catid=139:issue-no-30

AUS Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement

(1) New Agreement: Quality Care for Consumers, Certainty for Community Pharmacy, Expanded Role for Pharmacists

(News released by PGA)

The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement will underpin the viability of community pharmacy for the next five years, and deliver savings to the Government and to taxpayers. In addition it will see pharmacists expanding their scope of practice as health professionals.

The Agreement between the Federal Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia was signed today and will take effect from 1 July this year. The Agreement ensures that the unique model of community pharmacy will continue to deliver equitable access to medicines and patient-focused professional services across Australia.

…Over five years, the cut to predicted spending attributable to community pharmacy will total over $1 billion. Even so, the Agreement will commit the Federal Government to spending more than $15 billion over the period. Key elements include:

˙The current dispensing fee has been preserved. However, there will be a freeze on the fee for the first two years of the agreement (i.e. no indexation increases).

˙The 40 cents per prescription PBS Online incentive payment will cease from July 2010.

˙The Government has agreed to retain community pharmacy location rules which ensure fair and equitable access by consumers to pharmacy products and services across Australia.

˙The Agreement also retains and indexes the $1.53 premium free dispensing incentive payment.

˙The wholesaler Community Service Obligation payment has been retained in full, with an indexation pause until 2011.

(2) Staged Supply to Aid Primary Care

(News released by PGA)

The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement will introduce significant advances in the provision of primary health care in Australia. Among these advances will be the staged supply of medicines for high care patients.

(3) Strengthening the Bridge between Primary Care and Aged Care

(News released by PGA)

The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement will reinforce the role of community pharmacists in ensuring that older Australians receive the best possible care and management of their medications.

(4) PSA Welcomes 5CPA Announcement

(News released by PSA)

The announcement of an increased emphasis on professional programs and services in the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

For full content, please refer to Source.

Attachment:
PSA Welcomes 5CPA Announcement.pdf
New Agreement- quality care for consumers, certainty for community pharmacy, expanded role for pharmacists.pdf
Staged supply to aid primary care.pdf
Strengthening the bridge between primary care and aged care.pdf
Source:
http://www.guild.org.au/content.asp?id=2800
http://www.guild.org.au/content.asp?id=2803
http://www.guild.org.au/content.asp?id=2802
http://www.psa.org.au/site.php?id=5730

Kos Sclavos New President of the PGA

Kos Sclavos elected Guild National President

Kos Sclavos (BPharm, GradDipClinPharm, AdvDipCommPharmMgmt, FACP(HC), FIPharm, FAIM, FAICD, Sen Lect, AACPA, MPS), has been elected as the next National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Mr Sclavos, who has served as the Queensland Branch President of the Guild for more than the past nine years, has been elected to the national presidency for a three year term and will take office from midnight on 28 November 2005.

Until then, current National President John Bronger will remain in the position and will continue to be responsible for the Guild’s negotiation of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement with the Government.

Mr Sclavos is 41 years old and is married to Effie. He is the father of two children – Stanley, who passed away in 2003, and Nina.

Mr Sclavos graduated from the University of Queensland in 1985 and continued his post graduate study in both business and clinical fields. He has completed a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy, as well as an Advanced Diploma in Community Pharmacy Management.

Before purchasing his own pharmacy in Ipswich in 1989, he worked in and managed a number of community pharmacies. He has established and purchased pharmacies in the southeast Queensland area and is currently a partner in Terry White Chemists Myer Centre.

In 1992 he became the first joint fellow of the Australian College of Pharmacy Practice (ACPP) and the Australian Institute of Pharmacy Management (AIPM). In 1996, Mr Sclavos became the National President of AIPM going on to serve in that role until 2002.

He joined the Queensland Branch Committee of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia in 1994 and in 1996 was elected the Queensland President.

Mr Sclavos has led many industry initiatives but is best known as the driving force of the Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP), which has now been implemented in 90 per cent of community pharmacies. Australia was the first country and remains the only country in the world to implement such standards across the entire community pharmacy sector.

He has also successfully chaired the Guild’s national conference Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) conference for nine years

Mr Sclavos serves on numerous industry and university committees, and he is currently a member of the Minister for Health and Ageing’s Pharmaceutical Health and Rational Use of Medicines (PHARM) Committee.

He was awarded the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year Award as well as the PSA Bowl of Hygeia Award in 1999.

Mr Sclavos is passionate about the pharmacy profession and the role that pharmacists and their staff can play in the health care of Australians.

14 October 2005

For Further Information: Michael Pittman 02 6270 1888

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