7 September 2023
Marking National Asthma Awareness Week (1-7 September), the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched updated treatment guidelines for pharmacists supplying salbutamol and terbutaline inhalers to patients suffering from asthma.
The updated treatment guidelines reflect the new Professional Practice Standards and include updated information about over reliance on short-acting beta2-agonists (SABA).
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS says pharmacists have an increasingly important role to play in supporting patients to move away from relievers and toward preventers.
“Around 2.7 million or 11 per cent of Australians suffer from asthma, with PBS data indicating a growing reliance on relievers as treatment,” Dr Sim said.
“Over reliance on SABA relievers can increase the risk of severe asthma flare-ups and reduce the effectiveness of emergency treatments.
“The updated treatment guidelines support pharmacists to identify when it is appropriate to supply reliever inhalers to patients, and when their asthma may not be appropriately controlled.
“The guidelines also reinforce the importance of checking asthma symptom control, adherence, and inhaler technique at every opportunity.
“As the most accessible healthcare practitioners, community pharmacists are well placed to play a greater role in patient education and awareness of asthma-related harms, identify opportunity for clinical intervention and improve the safe and effective use of inhalers. When undertaking complex medication reviews, credentialled pharmacists are also best placed to make recommendations to optimise the use of treatments and management of asthma.
“We all have a role to play to encourage patients requesting SABA relievers to visit their medical practitioner to review their condition and make sure that they are receiving appropriate long-term care.”
PSA is urging all pharmacists to familiarise themselves with the updated guidelines, available at Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook | Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook (psa.org.au)
Media contact: Georgia Clarke M: 0480 099 798 E: email@example.com
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s 36,000 pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.