Understanding the complete medication profile of the patient is key to driving optimum health outcomes, however many patients often fail to mention their use of complementary medicines to their healthcare professional. A leading pharmacist suggests that pharmacists are uniquely placed to discuss polypharmacy, including complementary medicines, with consumers to enhance patient outcomes.
Two thirds of Australians use complementary medicines on a daily basis and according to research published in the Australian Family Physician1, 50 per cent of Australians are buying their complementary medicines in pharmacies, providing pharmacists with an excellent opportunity to discuss how CM usage may help or hinder their current treatment plans.
“Often the pharmacist will know more about what the patient is actually taking than the primary health prescriber. This puts them in a unique vantage point to identify potential issues and opportunities in relation to an individual patient’s health” according to leading Australian medicines information pharmacist, educator and researcher Dr Treasure McGuire.
Dr McGuire believes that with Australia’s ageing population projected to increase, polypharmacy will also remain a growing trend. She has called for Australian pharmacists to update their knowledge of polypharmacy issues, and look at how they may be able to implement an integrative service model to reach the best possible health outcomes for their patients.
”Pharmacists are uniquely placed to optimise the health of their patients. They not only dispense prescriptions but also provide advice on both complementary and conventional medicines,” Dr McGuire said.
“As a pharmacist, understanding how to integrate complementary medicines into patient advice is vital to prevent or reduce medication risk.”
Dr McGuire will present a special session on Integrating Complementary Medicine into Patient Care at the upcoming 2016 Blackmores Institute Symposium in Sydney on August 13.
Dr McGuire will also demonstrate how to integrate complementary medicine advice into everyday pharmacy practice to improve patient health outcomes.
Dr McGuire’s presentation will include identifying information gaps, finding the right resources and helping patients get the most from their complementary medicines.
This practical lecture will include:
- Implementing an integrative service model
- Supporting healthy ageing and better health outcomes.
- Case studies on common and clinically significant complementary medicine interactions
About Dr Treasure McGuire PhD, BPharm, BSc, GradDipClinHospPharm, GCHEd, CertIVTAE, FACP, FPS, MSHP
Dr Treasure McGuire is a medicines information pharmacist, educator and researcher. Dr McGuire lectures on complementary medicines, reproductive health, medication safety and communicable diseases.
She is the Assistant Director of Pharmacy (Practice and Development) at Mater Health Services, South Brisbane and manages the Academic Practice Unit. Treasure is also a Conjoint Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland, and the Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, at Bond University. She was also awarded the Lilly International Fellowship in Hospital Pharmacy and the Bowl of Hygeia of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
Reference: 1. Australian Family Physician 2015 Vol 44 (6) 337–432
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