Forecast shows expansion of pharmacist-led prescribing roles key to ‘strengthening health systems’

Forecast shows expansion of pharmacist-led prescribing roles key to ‘strengthening health systems’

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has released its third edition of Pharmacy Forecast Australia, highlighting the need for expansion of pharmacist-led prescribing roles as one of 35 key recommendations to help strengthen Australia’s fragmented and inequitable health system.

Launched by SHPA President Tom Simpson on FIP World Pharmacists Day at the 81st FIP Congress currently taking place in Brisbane, Pharmacy Forecast Australia 2023 shares a window into Australia’s pharmacy future by drawing insights from 120 pharmacy leaders from every state and territory, covering regional and metro areas and hospitals of all sizes, across six key themes impacting the nation’s health system.

Previewed recently to government representatives at Parliament House, the report highlights some of the challenges and opportunities that will help shape political discourse as the Federal Government moves towards Strengthening Medicare, a new National Health Reform Agreement for public hospitals and the Eighth Community Pharmacy Agreement (8CPA).

Open Pharmacy Forecast Australia 2023 >

Key recommendations and insights include:

• Driving the safe expansion of pharmacist-led prescribing roles with 81% of leaders believing it will be a standard of care in all Australian hospitals by 2028;

• Adopting the Commonwealth’s National Reconstruction Fund to strengthen medicines supply chains and shore up critical and life-saving medicines, with 86% believing natural and man-made disasters will impact pharmacy services and medicine access, and 92% believing more frequent, extended and acute medicines shortages will occur;

• An urgent call to ramp up planning and training to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks associated with A.I. machine learning, pharmacogenomic testing and 3D printed medicine in hospital pharmacy and health care;

• Supporting flagged reforms to modernise My Health Record so pharmacists and their healthcare colleagues can provide safe, quality patient-centred care;

• Calling for leadership and innovation to ensure pharmacy departments are operationally agile with 76% believing access to real-time data will help to effectively plan and manage workforce capability to meet the health service needs of Australians.

Mr Simpson says the report’s timeliness following the recently announced Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce – Scope of practice review, will help empower policy-makers with tangible solutions and ideas to address Australia’s most pressing health issues.

‘Strengthening pharmacist-led prescribing roles is one of the report’s key recommendations and it is something SHPA has long championed.

‘These patient-centred programs have been safely and successfully rolled out across Australian hospitals in the last ten years, and we recently showcased the model to Health Minister Mark Butler and Assistant Minister Emma McBride in a metropolitan and regional hospital respectively.

‘While we know the model works and is supported on a local and national level, additional funding is needed to resource it sustainably across Australia and ensure its consistency and reliability, including after-hours, without negative impact on other essential pharmacy services.

‘This is one of many areas highlighted in the report that we hope will generate productive and robust discussion among our key decision-makers, alongside issues of trust and health literacy, medicines supply and sovereignty and operational agility and efficiency.’

David Dutke, Australian and New Zealand Commercial Director for Omnicell – Pharmacy Forecast Australia’s exclusive partner for the third year running – is proud to work with SHPA to help champion knowledge-sharing and innovation.

‘Omnicell is honored to stand alongside SHPA as the exclusive partner for the Australian Pharmacy Forecast. Together, we are committed to shaping the future of healthcare by gathering insights and anticipating trends that will drive innovation and excellence in pharmacy practice.

As we look ahead to 2028, our partnership remains dedicated to providing critical foresight to healthcare leaders, ensuring that the best possible patient care remains at the forefront of our collective efforts.’

Full access to Pharmacy Forecast Australia 2023 is available at: