Pharmacists receive an eye-opener out bush

Two urban pharmacists have shared their eye-opening experience of visiting the outback to speak to patients about their medication.

Clinical pharmacists Alana Donaldson and Michelle Cassumbhoy spent three days touring Charleville and other south-west Queensland towns with the Heart of Australia mobile cardiac and respiratory clinic.

During the short period, the Melbourne duo saw firsthand how lack of access to specialist doctors and low health literacy is taking its toll.

Several patients admitted they had stopped taking their prescribed medication but had failed to tell their doctor, says Ms Donaldson. She and Ms Cassumbhoy also made interventions after discovering drug interactions.

“One guy got a script for Crestor but said ‘I’m not going to fill it. I don’t need it. My cholesterol’s fine, I just I won’t eat as many burgers’,” says Ms Donaldson.