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Quality use of medicines in Aboriginal Health Service Remote Access (AHSRA) program supply of medicines to Aboriginal Health Services in the Northern Territory

Keitaanpaa, Samuel (2013). Quality use of medicines in Aboriginal Health Service Remote Access (AHSRA) program supply of medicines to Aboriginal Health Services in the Northern Territory. Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

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Author Keitaanpaa, Samuel
Title Quality use of medicines in Aboriginal Health Service Remote Access (AHSRA) program supply of medicines to Aboriginal Health Services in the Northern Territory
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2013
Thesis Type Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Supervisor Ball, Patrick A.
Bushell, Mary-Jessimine A.
Patel, Bahvini
Subjects 1115 - Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Abstract Background: The supply of PBS medicines under the Aboriginal Health Service Remote Access program has increased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s access to medicines for chronic disease. However, it is not clear how effective the program has been in meeting the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) Guidelines. Previous literature has highlighted concerns that the Section 100 program as it stands does not meet the “Safely” objective of the QUM as medicines may be being underused by patients.

Aim: This study attempted to examine the paucity in the literature on the proportion of patients who do not pick up their medicines regularly and the extent that stock control and prescribing practices influence the QUM in health clinics in the Northern Territory.

Methodology: We recorded snapshot data from four Aboriginal Health Services in the Northern Territory of the number of Dose Administration Aids (DAA) which were not picked up along the prescribed schedule and the primary reasons why medicines remained uncollected and consequently destroyed.

Results: 229 Patients receiving DAA’s and a total of 700 uncollected DAA’s were recorded. 84.72% of patients had uncollected DAA’s. All sites showed similar distribution of uncollected DAA’s across the 25 week retrospective period. The primary reasons identified for uncollected DAA’s were patient adherence issues and stock management.

Conclusion: The issue of uncollected medicines was not limited to a select few patients or health services. Medicines being underutilised by patients or oversupplied to the AHS’s is contradictory to the “Safely” guideline of the QUM. Medicines that do not reach the patient cannot have a clinical effect so are not being used “Efficaciously”. This study supports the previous literature that the Aboriginal Health Service Remote Access program does not fully met the QUM guidelines and that further research into ways to enhance the programs ability to meet the QUM is needed.


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