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|Title:||'Pharmacist only medicines': Public health issues|
|Citation:||Australian Pharmacist, 2001; 20(5):326-329|
|Publisher:||Pharmaceutical Society of Australia|
|T. Bessell, J. Hiller, L. Sansom and K. Willson|
|Abstract:||OBJECTIVES: Pharmacists are the 'gatekeepers' for Pharmacist Only Medicines (PhOMs) - the numbers of such medicines are increasing and therefore the role of pharmacists in this area is evolving. Past Government inquiry recommendations to establish mechanisms to collect and evaluate PhOM data have not been implemented. The research objectives of this study were to develop a method to evaluate the use of PhOMs, including estimates of sales and average cost of PhOMs in pharmacies in metropolitan Adelaide, and to collect public health data on the use of PhOMs from consumers. Methods: A probability based, multi-stage sampling survey was used to collect data from community pharmacists and purchasers of PhOMs at the point of sale. Population estimates were calculated of the number of PhOMs sales and their average prices. Results: Thirty two of 55 consumers (58%) preferred to purchase a hypothetical medicine from a pharmacist, 20% via a prescription from a general practitioner and 22% were undecided. Thirty six per cent of all respondents were low income earners. The population estimate of mean PhOM cost was AUS$12.48 (standard error $0.29), that is nearly four times the concessional co-payment for low income earners of $3.20. Conclusions: Whether 'switching' provides timely access to medicines that Australians need, and at a cost that individuals and the community can afford, will remain unresolved until a mechanism to routinely collect PHOM data is implemented. This study shows that it is feasible to collect such data at the point of sale but proposes that routine data collection will require a commitment from all PHOM stakeholders.|
|Description:||© Pharmaceutical Society of Australia|
|Appears in Collections:||Public Health publications|
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