Funding pharmacists in general practice: a feasibility study to inform the design of future economic evaluations
Kosari, S and Deeks, LS and Naunton, M and Dawda, P and Postma, MJ and Tay, GH and Peterson, GM, Funding pharmacists in general practice: a feasibility study to inform the design of future economic evaluations, Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 17, (5) pp. 1012-1016. ISSN 1551-7411 (2021) [Refereed Article]
Funding is a significant barrier to employing general practice pharmacists.
To explore the feasibility of determining the cost-benefit of pharmacists in Australian general practice.
Two part-time pharmacists were employed by general practices in Canberra, Australia. Diaries of the pharmacists were analysed to determine time worked and participation in income-generating activities, including Government-funded programs: Asthma Cycle of Care, Home Medicine Reviews, and Health Care Assessments. Scenarios using different practice and business models were entered into value-cost models to determine the income generated by the pharmacists relative to their salary.
Over 19 weeks, pharmacists A and B supported 47 and 23 Asthma Cycle of Care activities, generating income to the general practice of AU$4,700 and AU$2,300, respectively. The pharmacists spent 36.4 and 24.1 hours on activities usually conducted by general practitioners (GPs), allowing additional time for GP-patient consultations. Value-cost models determined AU$0.61 - AU$1.20 income generation by pharmacists per AU$1 salary.
It was feasible to determine the value-cost ratios of employing pharmacists in general practice using these methods. Future work should focus on developing a robust business model that includes health care system savings resulting from practice pharmacist interventions, determined from randomised controlled trials.
pharmacists, general practice, general practitioners, primary care, economics