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Pharmacies To Manage Blood Thinning Drug

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Tony Ryall
Tony Ryall

Wellington, July 28 NZPA - Community pharmacies will be able to provide patients with blood thinning therapy at up to 15 demonstration sites with the help of general practitioners, Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

The anticoagulant, warfarin, is currently managed in GP surgeries usually by a supervised nurse, causing patients to visit clinics often weekly.

Mr Ryall said the change will free up doctors time to see other patients, make use of pharmacists, skills and give patients greater convenience.

"They'll be seen, tested, and get their medication, all by their community pharmacist, without having to go to their GP as much.

"Doctors will sign standing orders for their patients and will designate the pharmacists who can manage each patient. Patients will have regular finger-prick blood tests and pharmacists will be able to modify the prescription in collaboration with the GP."

The demonstration sites will be established from October, and there will be an evaluation before the end of next year.

It is being funded by Health Workforce New Zealand, after a Pharmaceutical Society proposal following a successful trial in Hamilton.

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