Objective: To examine the prescribing of lipid-lowering medications during general practitioner encounters with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians from 2001 to 2013.
Design, setting and participants: Observational time trend study, using data from the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) survey, of 9594 primary care encounters with Indigenous patients and 750 079 encounters with non-Indigenous patients aged 30 years or over.
Main outcome measure: Prescription of at least one lipid-lowering medication.
Results: The ageesex standardised proportion of encounters that resulted in at least one lipid-lowering medication being prescribed was 5.5% (95% CI, 4.7%e6.3%) for Indigenous patients and 4.6% (95% CI, 4.5%e4.7%) for non-Indigenous patients. The proportion of encounters with Indigenous patients at which a lipid-lowering medication was prescribed increased significantly from 4.1% during 2001e2005 to 6.4% during 2009e2013 (P ¼ 0.013 for trend). For encounters with non-Indigenous patients, the proportion increased significantly from 3.8% during 2001e2005 to 5.2% during 2009e2013 (P < 0.01). For encounters during which GPs managed diabetes, hypertension or ischaemic heart disease, the proportion of Indigenous encounters during which lipid-lowering medication was prescribed was similar to that for non-Indigenous patients. For encounters in which GPs managed a lipid disorder, however, the ageesex standardised proportion was significantly greater for Indigenous (78.4%; 95% CI, 72.6%e84.2%) than for non-Indigenous patients (65.2%; 95% CI, 64.5%e65.8%).
Conclusion: We detected substantial increases in the prescribing of lipid-lowering medications from 2001 to 2013 for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients seen in Australian general practice. Providers were more likely to prescribe lipid-lowering medications for Indigenous than for non-Indigenous patients, suggesting somemeasure of success in expanding access to medications and reducing cardiovascular risk among Indigenous people.
Australian Journal of Primary Health Special Issue 22(1))
The latest edition of the Australian Journal of Primary Health provides perspectives on commissioning from Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and China. It covers conceptual frameworks for commissioning, the history of commissioning and the experience of commissioning in particular jurisdictions and settings. Specific applications of commissioning for general practice, capacity building and community services are also included.
Commissioning is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It may have potential as a mechanism for improving the quality and efficiency of health and community services, but there are many pitfalls and risks. The choices made in how commissioning is developed and implemented in Australia will determine just how many of these are avoided. It is worth learning from past experience.
It includes articles from a number of HSRAANZ members.
We spoke with Bianca Blanch who won the Best Abstract prize by an Emerging Researcher at our 2015 conference. Her slides are available here:"Potential pitfalls in defining prescription opioid misuse using routinely collected dispensing data:’Doctor shopping’ or standard care?"
Bianca is a PhD Candidatein the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney. Her research interests are methods, big data, prescription medicine use and misuse
Congratulations to Association member Dr Alison Pearce, who has been awarded a prestigious UTS Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research. Read More