The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched the fifth report in the Medicine Safety Series, Medicine Safety: Disability Care at their national conference, PSA22.
The report outlines significant challenges to safe medicine use within the disability sector, including inappropriate prescribing, problems taking medicines, inadequate access to medication management review services, and difficulty accessing health professionals.
PSA’s first medicine safety report, Medicine Safety: Take Care estimated that medicine-related problems cause 250,000 hospital admissions each year, with an annual cost of approximately $1.4 billion, and at least half of these hospital admissions being preventable.
This latest report highlights the significant difference in life expectancy in Australia, with people with intellectual disability experiencing a 20-32 year shorter lifespan.
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim, who launched the report at PSA22, said that more needs to be done to ensure medicine safety for Australians living with disability.
“Approximately 4.4 million Australians live with disability, many requiring complex medical care,” she said.
“PSA’s Medicine Safety: Disability Care report highlights the many barriers to safe medicine use, ranging from prescribing and dispensing, to administration, and medication management.
“The result is a health system that is failing Australians with disability.
“This report is an important step in identifying the real and significant issues patients with disability face. It is our duty, as healthcare professionals, to keep working to make care accessible and appropriate for everyone.
“A greater focus on medicine safety is key to addressing the health and life expectancy gap for people with disability.
“Pharmacists are the key, and we look forward to working with state, territory and federal governments, the disability sector, patients, and their families to improve the provision of care to Australians with disability,” Dr Sim said.