Benefits of a Home Medicines Review

What is a Home Medicines Review?

Clinical Pharmacist Ben Basger has some advice for people living with Parkinson’s: request a Home Medicines Review every 12 months.

“Anyone taking five medications or more should request regular reviews by a third party,” said Ben. “This involves an independent pharmacist taking an overview of the whole patient, including their medical history, test results, how they are feeling, what they know about their condition and medications, and what they believe.

“What the health system often lacks is time for individual attention. However, a Home Medicines Review will give you that attention and take the time required to assess your needs on an individual basis.” 

Ben’s full title is Clinical Pharmacist – Medication Management and he is based at Wolper Jewish Hospital in Sydney. His role is to evaluate patient’s medications – both prescribed and self-administered – in order to identify, manage and prevent any drug-related problems.

Any General Practitioner can write a referral for a Home Medicines Review. These Reviews are available under Medicare (Item 900 with 100 percent benefit paid).

They will cover what your medicine is for, how the medicine will help you, how long you need to take it, and any special instructions for taking the medicine.

Benefits of Reviews to patients include improved knowledge, skills and confidence in using their medicines.

Ben explained that people living with Parkinson’s have particularly complex needs because they face multiple challenges including their evolving symptoms, ageing, and complex medication regimes which can sometimes have adverse effects.

“With complex conditions like Parkinson’s, there is a potential for polypharmacy or over-medicating,” he said. “That means more potential for side effects of medication, additional cost and burden on the patients.

“What we need is patient-centred care where the pharmacist conducting the review can listen and explain medications to people in ways meaningful to them, and on their own terms.”

For more information on the Home Medicines Review Program, visit this Department of Health web page here

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