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BeMedicineWise Week 20th - 26th August 2018

Monday, August 20, 2018 - 7:03pm

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) eighth annual Be Medicinewise Week is encouraging Australian families to make good decisions about medicines, medical tests and other health choices. 

Is your family medicinewise?

Medicines are part of most people’s lives, so it’s critical to have access to all the information we need about the medicines we, and our family members, are taking.

Important information that medicinewise families need to know:

  • Taking medicines during pregnancy
  • Taking medicines while breastfeeding
  • How to give medicine to a child in your care
  • How to remember what medicines you’re taking
  • How to remember when to take your medicine
  • How to store medicines correctly
  • How to dispose of unwanted or unused medicines correctly

Find out more about the above issues by going to www.nps.org.au, or asking your General Practitioner or Pharmacist.

Do you know your medicines? 

No matter what type of medicines you or your family take, it’s important to know your medicines. If medicines aren’t used properly, or if the wrong ones are used together, the results can be serious. Each year more than 140,000 Australians have to go to hospital with problems caused by their medicine. In up to 69% of these cases, the problem could have been avoided. Older people are particularly at risk.

The Home Medicines Review (HMR) Program was developed in response to this problem. It is funded by the Australian government and managed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.

Home Medicine Review

A Home Medicines Review involves your GP and an accredited pharmacist of your choice. Your GP writes a referral to the pharmacist. A pharmacist conducts an interview, preferably in your home, and then writes a report for to the GP. The GP will discuss any recommendations with you and may make appropriate changes to your medicines. 

The solutions may involve:

  • showing you how to take your medicines correctly
  • explaining why and when to take them
  • explaining where they should be stored
  • explaining what to expect when taking them
  • outlining what problems you should report to the GP
  • checking that prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines and vitamins are appropriate to take together
  • clarifying any confusion with generic medicines
  • giving you some help so you can remember to take your medicines
  • changing your medicines.

Who should have a Home Medicines Review?

Reviews are particularly useful for people who:

  • take more than five medicines a day
  • have recently spent time in hospital
  • are concerned about their medicines
  • are confused about their medicines
  • do not always remember to take their medicines.

How much does a Home Medicine Review cost?

The pharmacist’s review and report is paid for by the Australian government, so it will not cost you anything. The item number for Home Medicine Review will usually be bulk-billed by your GP at Glebe Hill Family Practice.

If you (or someone you care for) might benefit from having a Home Medicines Review, talk to your GP or pharmacist about organising one.

Keep an eye on the Glebe Hill Family Practice Facebook Page for more important information about Medicine this week.

This News Article is based on information from nps.org.au.