Pharmacy warfarin service benefits thousands

  • Jonathan Coleman

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a growing number of Kiwis are being supported to manage their blood thinning medication through a pharmacist-led scheme.

“This Government has made providing care in the community and closer to home a priority,” says Dr Coleman.

“One of the ways we’re doing this is through the pharmacist-led warfarin scheme, which is a blood thinning medication which needs regular monitoring.

“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.

“At August 6,800 New Zealanders were registered with the pharmacist-led warfarin scheme compared to 6,310 in August 2016.

“That’s an increase of around 500 people who are now able to work directly with their local pharmacy to manage their dosage.

“A key expectation of the New Zealand Health Strategy I launched in 2015 is that care should be delivered closer to home where possible, and this initiative is a great example of that.

“It’s a smart system which also shows how we can make the best use of our pharmacists, who are a highly skilled group within our health workforce.

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