Do you know your medicines? If medicines aren’t used properly, or if the wrong ones are used together, the results can be serious. Each year more than 140,000 Australians have to go to hospital with problems caused by their medicine. In up to 69% of these cases, the problem could have been avoided. Older people are particularly at risk.
The Home Medicines Review (HMR) Program was developed in response to this problem. It is funded by the Australian government and managed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
A Home Medicines Review involves your GP and an accredited pharmacist of your choice. Your GP writes a referral to the pharmacist. A pharmacist conducts an interview, preferably in your home, and then writes a report for to the GP. The GP will discuss any recommendations with you and may make appropriate changes to your medicines.
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
- explaining what to expect when taking them
- outlining 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 a Home Medicines Review?
- 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?
If you (or someone you care for) might benefit from having a Home Medicines Review, talk to your GP or pharmacist about organising one. They are available in all states and territories.