Funding pharmacists in general practice: A feasibility study to inform the design of future economic evaluations

Sam Kosari, Louise S. Deeks, Mark Naunton, Paresh Dawda, Marteen J. Postma, Guan Han Tay, Gregory M. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Funding is a significant barrier to employing general practice pharmacists. Objective(s): To explore the feasibility of determining the cost-benefit of pharmacists in Australian general practice. Methods: Two part-time pharmacists were employed by general practices in Canberra, Australia. Diaries of the pharmacists were analysed to determine time worked and participation in income-generating activities, including Government-funded programs: Asthma Cycle of Care, Home Medicine Reviews, and Health Care Assessments. Scenarios using different practice and business models were entered into value-cost models to determine the income generated by the pharmacists relative to their salary. Results: Over 19 weeks, pharmacists A and B supported 47 and 23 Asthma Cycle of Care activities, generating income to the general practice of AU$4,700 and AU$2,300, respectively. The pharmacists spent 36.4 and 24.1 hours on activities usually conducted by general practitioners (GPs), allowing additional time for GP-patient consultations. Value-cost models determined AU$0.61 - AU$1.20 income generation by pharmacists per AU$1 salary. Conclusions: It was feasible to determine the value-cost ratios of employing pharmacists in general practice using these methods. Future work should focus on developing a robust business model that includes health care system savings resulting from practice pharmacist interventions, determined from randomised controlled trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Aug 2020

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