Over 150 pharmacies provide warfarin service

  • Jonathan Coleman

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says over 6000 patients are now being supported to manage their blood thinning medication through an increasingly popular pharmacy-led scheme.

“More than 150 community pharmacies across the country are now contracted to provide warfarin management to patients,” says Dr Coleman.

“The feedback from patients and pharmacists is that this is a great initiative which provides easy and quick access, and delivers care closer to home.

“The success of this service demonstrates the benefits of an integrated team approach. This is a key focus of the updated New Zealand Health Strategy.”

In partnership with GPs, the service provides patients with a finger-prick blood test in their local pharmacy instead of visiting their GP or a laboratory. The results are available straightaway, allowing the pharmacist to adjust dosages immediately.

Pharmacy-led warfarin services were introduced as a pilot programme at 15 sites in 2010, and launched nationwide in 2012.

The Pharmacy Action Plan, which was launched in June, aims to make better use of the knowledge and skills of our pharmacy workforce.

“We know that making better use of pharmacists’ skills will help improve health outcomes for patients and make medicines safer,” says Dr Coleman.

“Pharmacists have the ability to provide more care to people closer to home. The new Pharmacy Action Plan will help to ensure pharmacists are better utilised as part of a more integrated health system.”