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Thousands of extra patients to benefit from medication management

An extra 70,000 patients of community pharmacies will benefit under the expansion of a Federal Government medication adherence program.

The Government will provide funding for an extension of the Dose Administration Aid (DAA) program to help more patients manage their medicines and avoid medication misadventure and associated hospitalisation.

Dose Administration Aids are devices or systems designed to assist patients in the community to better manage their medicines.

The devices are usually sealed blister packs or sachets containing medicines set out in a tamper-proof calendar pack.

Each dose compartment contains either a single dose of one medication type or multiple doses of one or more medication types for a particular time and date.

DAAs ensure patients take the right medicine, at the right dose, at the right time – a vital service to improve adherence and reduce medication misadventure to keep people living independently at home rather than in aged care.

The Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said:

“The Government recognises the key role that community pharmacy plays in supporting Australian patients. These additional services available through community pharmacy will support more Australians in managing their medicines regime and help in avoiding problems that can arise when medicines are not taken as directed.”

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild, George Tambassis, said:

“Medication adherence is a vital aspect of the quality use of medicines and we certainly welcome the Government’s commitment of extra support to boost the number of patients who will benefit from this program. This is a significant and wise investment in keeping people out of hospital and delivering the best possible health outcomes.”

Under the Pharmacy Compact between the Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, since 1 July 2017 the Government has provided $6 per patient to community pharmacies that provide a weekly DAA to patients who meet the eligibility criteria.

To ensure that the funding remains within the allocated budget the service is capped per pharmacy.

Under the Pharmacy Compact, additional Community Pharmacy Agreement funding is available for this program in 2018-19, allowing the caps to be increased, providing direct benefit to thousands more patients.

The total number of patients benefitting from this program will rise to around 380,000.

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