New pharmacy APPOINT Program and the ‘Big O’ campaign

Over 1.25 million Australians have osteoporosis, however, six in 10 people at risk are untreated. Without diagnosis and treatment, a simple fall can lead to loss of mobility and independence[1],[2].

Pharmacists have unique expertise, experience and like GPs and specialists, the role of pharmacy is vital in addressing untreated, unmanaged fracture risk to prevent the serious consequences of osteoporosis. Recognising the critical role that pharmacy plays in identifying and treating osteoporosis, Amgen Australia has joined with PharmaPrograms to create the Amgen Pharmacy Partnership in Osteoporosis INTervention (APPOINT) Program with the aim of supporting pharmacies to reduce osteoporotic fractures.

APPOINT supports pharmacists to help identify and engage with patients at risk of fractures. The APPOINT Program comprises of three distinct online screening modules:

  1. Risk Assessment Screening – to identify ‘at-risk’ patients who have not been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
  2. Compliance Screening – to identify patients who may not be taking their osteoporosis medication as directed.
  3. Re-Engagement Screening – to identity patients who have previously taken osteoporosis medication, but have lapsed treatment.

Coinciding with the pharmacy program, Amgen has launched the ‘Big O’ campaign. This disease awareness campaign features on TV, social media and in the press informing the public that osteoporosis is more common than breast and cervical cancer combined1,3. The campaign material features the key message, “you already get pap smears and mammograms, but have you had a bone scan?”

Leading pharmacist Kos Sclavos AM who is the PharmaPrograms Systems Architect commented: “The APPOINT Program is a comprehensive remunerated pharmacy program that applies to some 700 patients in the average pharmacy. The first module – Risk Assessment Screening – identifies ‘at-risk’ patients who have not been diagnosed with osteoporosis. The “Big O” awareness campaign also encourages ‘at-risk’ patients who have not been diagnosed with osteoporosis to see their doctor about a bone scan. I encourage my fellow pharmacists to engage with patients on this topic.”

Professional Services fees (from $10-$40) are available in recognition of pharmacists’ time, expertise and contribution in addressing this national health priority. Pharmacists are encouraged to sign up and claim their Professional Service Fees through PharmaPrograms.

References : 1. Watts JJ, et al. Osteoporosis costing all Australians – A new burden of disease analysis 2012 to 2022. Osteoporosis Australia, 2013; 2. PBS Item Reports. [Accessed 28 June 2018]; 3. AIHW 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no. 101. Cat no. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW;

For more information contact the APPOINT Program Administration Team:



P: 1300 458 217

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