Asthma 3+ Visit Plan in Australia

Involving Community Pharmacists in the Asthma 3+ Visit Plan – essential partners in asthma care.

We are writing to inform you of the Federal Government’s General Practice (GP) Asthma Initiative for the management of asthma – the Asthma 3+ Visit Plan – and of the important role community pharmacy can play in this plan to improve the health outcomes of people with moderate to severe asthma.

The Asthma 3+ Visit Plan provides the opportunity for GPs to discuss specific aspects of asthma management with their patients over at least three visits, incorporating diagnosis and assessment, development of a written Asthma Action Plan and a review of asthma management. This encourages a partnership between GPs and patients and a shift from reactive asthma care to a planned self-care management approach.

The Department of Health and Ageing is seeking to enhance the effectiveness of the Asthma 3+ Visit Plan through the involvement of community pharmacy. It has been recognized that community pharmacists are ideally placed to help facilitate and support the partnership between GPs and patients in effectively managing asthma.

As a pharmacist you see many people with asthma on a regular basis. Given this regular contact and your role as the patient’s medication expert you can assist by identifying and recruiting patients to the Plan.

The Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society in consultation with the National Asthma Council’s Pharmacists’ Asthma Group have developed an Asthma 3+ Visit Plan information resource kit for pharmacy. Pharmacies will receive this Kit in September, which will include the key features of the Plan, consumer resources and a GP referral pad. The Kit provides you with the ideal opportunity to inform your patients of the Asthma 3+ Visit Plan, reinforce its benefits to asthma management and encourage them to become involved or complete the Asthma 3+ Visit Plan. The Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society encourage you to support this initiative. It is an excellent opportunity to once again demonstrate the value of community pharmacy as an essential healthcare partner and an indispensable link in the healthcare chain.