GPs and pharmacists united on evidence-based medicines

Press Release – Royal NZ College of General Practitioners

GPs and pharmacists agree that the good of the patient and evidence-based medicine should form the basis of all health care advice provided. The Royal New Zealand College of GPs, the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand, Pharmaceutical Society and General Practice … GPs and pharmacists united on evidence-based medicines

GPs and pharmacists agree that the good of the patient and evidence-based medicine should form the basis of all health care advice provided.

The Royal New Zealand College of GPs, the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand, Pharmaceutical Society and General Practice New Zealand have agreed that a commercial initiative being employed in Australia to companion sell supplements with prescriptions would not be appropriate in New Zealand.

Blackmores has struck a deal with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, representing the owners of community pharmacies. Under the agreement, when a prescription is filled, a prompt in the pharmacy’s computer will suggest staff discuss with the customer a Blackmores supplement designed to offset possible side effects of the drug being prescribed.

Pharmacy Guild President Karen Crisp says it is longstanding practice in New Zealand for community pharmacists, when advising patients on their medicines, to consider whether supplements would be a useful addition to the medicine regime.

She says pharmacists and GPs are motivated by the wellbeing of individuals and already have close working relationships.

Pharmaceutical Society President Elizabeth Plant agrees and says health professionals and pharmacists respect each other’s expertise.

“We should all be working to our strengths and evidence-based medicines are a strength for both professions.”

Royal New Zealand College of GPs President Dr Harry Pert says there would be no benefit in following the current Australian example.

“There is little evidence basis for it that we can see and we would be concerned that patients would be encouraged to buy supplements that they don’t want or need.”

General Practice New Zealand Chair Dr Bev O’Keefe says GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists are making real progress in working more effectively together to provide good patient care.

“At every stage of patient care, their professional values and standards must determine the treatment decisions they make, rather than commercial incentives.”

ENDS

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