Nationals’ Member for Mildura, Jade Benham, says legislation, the medical profession and wider community need to recognise pharmacists are “an increasingly critical link in the primary healthcare chain”.
Speaking in Parliament to the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances amendment, highlighting the importance of clear regulation changes, Ms Benham says while she is not a medical expert, she has turned to those who are.
She says the concerns of our local pharmacists “are very real, very valid, and they need to be listened to”.
“I have been working with local experts in the field, such as Brooke Shelly, who is a GP pharmacist, who has given me a new insight of the current healthcare crisis facing regional Victoria,” Ms Benham added.
“At a time when GPs are backed up for weeks and months, we need to include our GP pharmacists more in the health care plan, especially for patients who require things such as prescription repeats, or access to the oral contraceptive pill for the first time.”
Ms Benham says “Pharmacists are qualified, healthcare professionals that some may be very comfortable going to for the Schedule 4 drugs such as the oral contraceptive, but why are we not calling it what it is and allow all pharmacists access to this trial.”
Ms Shelly says “prescribing is prescribing”.
She says “the pharmacy profession has spent years preparing its members to prescribe safely through the Prescribing Competency Framework”.
“We have done that by putting it into our professional practise standards,” Ms Shelly explains.
“But by not calling it what it is, and using the words ‘supply without prescription’ creates the need for a whole new set of unnecessary guidelines and even then they will not ensure we’re held to the same standards as all other prescribers,” she says.
“Why are we reinventing the wheel here?”