Ageing population & pharmacy’s health hub opportunity

Pharmacists are ready, able and willing to deal with the 230,000 hospital admissions due to medication errors — accountability and responsibility accepted.

Shane Jackson, Vice-President, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia | Twitter, 10 October 2018

World’s ageing population

According to the 2017 UN Population Report the ‘global population, aged 60 years or over, numbered 962 million in 2017, more than twice as large as in 1980’. This will likely double by 2050, to almost 2.1 billion. In recent decades, older people in 67 countries have already become more likely to live independently, from around 24% in 1990 to 37% in 2010. In 2017, one-in-seven Australians were aged 65 years and over. In Australia and New Zealand, combined growth is predicted to be +92.6% between 2019 and 2050. This is significantly higher than North America at +56.7% and Europe at +35.1%. Are Australian pharmacies ready to respond to this trend?

Poor medication compliance

A Mayo Clinic study showed around 50% of patients being treated for chronic illnesses don’t take their medicines as prescribed. Monash University’s Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Department says adherence to medicines for chronic conditions stands on average at 50%. A 2018 survey by the Australian Patients Association further revealed that ‘half of respondents admitted to not completing their prescription as directed by their health professional …’

Another Australian study found 83% of those taking multiple medications for chronic conditions said they used habitual cues to remember to take their meds. Relying on this method alone puts a significant number of people at unnecessary risk of medical misadventure.
The reasons for medication misadventure hospital admissions vary. Elderly patients find it too difficult to adhere to overly complex medication regimes and some have poor health literacy. General literacy in multicultural Australia among the elderly is often inadequate while bad communication by healthcare professionals is another contributory factor.

Community pharmacy ideally placed

Luke van der Rijt is a co-owner of the 2018 Guild Pharmacy of the Year in Southcity, Wagga Wagga. Luke advocates Dose Administration Aids (DAAs) as one tool to reduce medication misadventures and improve medication adherence. He also said, ‘another thing that’s helping to increase compliance is technology.’

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia CP2025 vision to transform community pharmacies into community health hubs is driven by growth pathways that make for a ‘…commercially resilient framework build(ing) upon… technological advancement…’

NZ automation study reveals growth pathway

Dr Natalie Gauld says 2018 automation tests conducted in NZ pharmacies showed the average growth in pack numbers was 37%. Pharmacies packing 200 packs per week saved over $30,000 per annum. An average of 5.04 minutes per pack was saved. Most owners, pharmacists and technicians agreed using the Alpaca robotic automation made the DAA medication management process faster, easier, more accurate and efficient.

Grow your DAA professional services

myPak Solutions is a leading Australian end-to-end DAA solution for medication management. Its innovative range of software, consumables and automation products provides community pharmacy the tools it needs for the Guild’s CP2025’s key growth pathways of medication management, digital enablement, operational efficiencies and automation.

myPak software integrates with all dispense systems. Unlike competitors, it is the only DAA supplier currently using the highest quality and always current drug images from GuildLink’s Secure Data Warehouse. Alpaca Automation is powered by the world’s leading robotic technology from Japan. myPak Solutions drives operational efficiencies through digital enablement and automation with a range of QCPP and 6CPA compliant range of consumable packs.

Learn more

Learn how myPak Solutions Software, Consumables and Automation helps grow your DAA professional services.

Phone: 1800 842 649 (Mon to Fri, 9 am – 5.30 pm E.S.T.)
APP March 2019: Visit Stand 36/37 by TRADE ENTRY 2. Watch our Alpaca Automation Demonstration.

First Published in ITK Magazine Feb / Mar Edition 2019

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