The Queensland Government has partnered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and other stakeholders to develop a Core Palliative Care Medicines List for Queensland Community Patients.
The List has been developed as part of the Queensland Health palliPHARM initiative which aims to ensure all community-based palliative care patients have timely access to appropriate medicines through their community pharmacy as required.
PSA Queensland Branch President Shane MacDonald said timely access to palliative care medicines will ensure emergent end-of-life symptoms are optimally controlled.
“It is important for Queensland pharmacists, prescribers and aged care facility staff to work collaboratively to ensure that palliative care medicines are proactively prescribed, easily accessible and administered safely to patients,” he said.
“PSA urges community pharmacists in Queensland to stock medicines on the Core Palliative Care Medicines list, with four of the five listed first-line medicines available to be supplied to patients on the PBS.
“This is such a critical time, not just for patients, but their families, carers and loved ones, ensuring timely access is such as simple part of the care pharmacists provide.
“These medications are needed within hours, not days, which is why it is so important that pharmacies commit to always holding stock of end-of-life medications and communicating this commitment with GP colleagues and palliative care teams.”
Prof Liz Reymond, Director of palliPHARM and a specialist palliative care consultant, said that even when people are very sick with a terminal illness, most say they would choose to be cared for at home – whether that is their own private house or their residential aged care facility – and to die there if possible.
“This requires collaboration across many health professionals including GPs prescribing anticipatory medicines for symptom control and community pharmacists to dispense those medicines in a timely fashion.”
palliPHARM, developed by Queensland Health, contributes to high-value and patient-centred care by promoting delivery of the right care, at the right time, in a setting of the person’s choice.
PSA has developed a palliPHARM website where Queensland pharmacists can access the Core Palliative Care Medicines list along with other educational resources and useful information.
The PSA palliPHARM website can be accessed here: www.psa.org.au/pallipharm