Do you know your medicines? If medicines aren’t used properly, or if the wrong ones are used together, the results can be serious. At our March Paper Bag Lunch event, Consultant Pharmacist Shirley Harrison joined us to talk about the benefits of a Home Medicine Review (HMR).
Each year more than 140,000 Australians have to go to hospital with problems caused by their medicine. It has been shown that in up to 69% of these cases the problem can be avoided. Older people are particularly at risk.
As a response to this problem, and in light of research done through the Third Community Pharmacy Agreement, the Home Medicines Review (HMR) Program was developed. It is funded by the Australian Government and managed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
What’s involved in a Home Medicines Review (HMR)?
An HMR involves your GP and an accredited pharmacist of your choice. Your GP sets up the review by writing a referral to the pharmacist. A pharmacist conducts an interview, preferably in the comfort of your own home, and then writes a report back to the GP. The GP will discuss any recommendations with you and may make appropriate changes to your medication regimen. The solutions may involve:
- showing you how to take your medicines correctly
- explaining why and when to take them
- explaining where they should be stored
- what to expect when taking them
- what problems you should report to the GP
- checking that prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines and vitamins are appropriate to take together
- clarifying any confusion with generic medicines
- giving you some help so you can remember to take your medicines
- changing your medicines.
Who should have an HMR?
HMRs are particularly useful for people who:
- take more than five medicines a day
- have recently spent time in hospital
- are concerned about their medicines
- are confused about their medicines
- do not always remember to take their medicines.
How much does it cost?
The pharmacist’s review and report is paid for by the Australian government, so it will not cost you anything. Your GP may bulk-bill or charge you for the GP consultations.
If you (or someone you care for) might benefit from having an HMR, talk to your GP or pharmacist about organising one.
Information from NPS Medicinewise