PSA and AMA plan ‘integration’ – to a point

An integrated model under development aims to improve the use of medicines, reduce adverse drug events, allow better coordination of patient care and save the health system millions, the organisations said on Tuesday in a joint statement.

But the groups disagree on the best way to fund the model, with the PSA suggesting the Medicare Benefits Schedule be extended to cover pharmacists. 

"Funding is the next thing to work out. I would have thought the MBS would be a logical starting point," PSA president Grant Kardachi told MO.  

AMA president Associate Professor Brian Owler rejected the suggestion that pharmacists be given access to the MBS, saying it should be funded through the Practice Incentives Program or in a similar payment that allowed GPs to employ pharmacists in their practices. 

"I don't think we want to open up the MBS to pharmacists... Keeping everything within general practice and being able to