Concerns raised over emerging models of care

The Medical, Nursing and Midwifery and Pharmacy Boards of Australia and Ahpra have released a joint statement raising concerns about the emergence of services designed solely to provide customers with a predetermined medicine, stating that ‘some practitioners may be putting profit ahead of patient welfare.’

Of particular concern to the boards and Aphra are practice models that treat a single disorder and prescribe and dispense a single medicine in response to patient demand. Some focus on a high volume of telemedicine consultations or computer or algorithm-based prescribing of medicine, and some businesses also offer direct to the supply of unapproved medicine to patients.

They are concerned that practitioners are cashing in on rising demand for the prescription and use of medicinal cannabis, bulk-produced compounded medicines, or soon to be banned compounded semaglutide and related products.

Aphra and the Boards are reminding practitioners of their long-established responsibilities when prescribing and dispensing medicines, and how they continue to apply in the context of evolving business models. A new unit will also focus on responding to practitioners who may not be complying with their codes and obligations.

Ahpra CEO Martin Fletcher said some emerging practices are dangerously disrupting the traditional therapeutic relationship between a patient and their practitioner.

‘Good prescribing must balance safety and access,’ Mr Fletcher said.

‘While the delivery of telehealth services is supported by Ahpra and the National Boards, we do not support practitioners or health services taking advantage of patients or ignoring their obligations to provide appropriate care and follow up when needed.

‘We remind practitioners of their duty of care when providing prescriptions of any kind, whether it be in-person or via telehealth. We also encourage consumers to be aware of these questionable practice models that are prioritising money-making over your health.’

Read the full statement here:



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