The Indigenous Medication Review Service (IMeRSe) study is a collaborative partnership between Griffith University, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).
Access to medicines and the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) are critical to closing the gap in morbidity, mortality and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Health inequalities are particularly apparent in chronic diseases and compounded by barriers to accessing primary health care, including medication review services.
Medication review services such as Home Medication Reviews, MedsCheck and Diabetes MedsCheck have been successfully implemented in the general population in Australia. However, there are a number of barriers to access these services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples including a lack of cultural appropriateness, restrictive referral pathways and eligibility criteria, a lack of integration with existing primary health care services, as well as geographic isolation. The IMeRSe study has been developed to support community pharmacists to work with clinicians and health workers, to incorporate the essential clinical elements and objectives of existing medication review services and address barriers to access.
IMeRSe is a two-year feasibility study being delivered collaboratively by community pharmacists and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services (both Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and government Indigenous Health Services) in QLD, NSW and Northern Territory. The service will be evaluated to ensure it is culturally acceptable and deliverable across a range of remote, rural and urban settings.