Improvements in the safe use of medicines by pharmacists will be targeted under a $25 million federal government commitment to national health priorities.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt said the funds, which will be outlaid through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), will support research grants investigating how medicine safety can be improved in the community.
The funding, which comes as Australia prepares to rollout what may be the most significant vaccination program in modern history to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, was first announced on National Pharmacists Day late last week.
The Department of Health now says the commitment will expand the Preventative and Public Health Research initiative, which is a $260.4 million program funding research programs to address risk factors contributing to chronic and complex diseases in Australia.
Grant programs enabled by the latest $25 million commitment have not yet opened for applications, but the department said GrantConnect would be updated when they are.
Hunt also announced improvements to community pharmacy programs negotiated with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia earlier this year had been finalised, including reforms to the Dose Administration Aids program.
Under the changes, the program will be expanded from a base cap of 30 services per week to 60, meaning more pharmacists will be administering medicine doses to patients each week. across the country.
Coronavirus-related measures enabling the delivery of medicines to homes have also been extended for a further six months, reflecting the ongoing need for many vulnerable Australians to continue isolating from the broader community.
Under this scheme more than a million medicine deliveries have been made since March, with the participation of more than 4,600 pharmacies.