Activating pharmacists to reduce medication related problems: The ACTMed stepped wedge randomised controlled trial

Funding agency

MRFF - Medical Research Future Fund

Project period




Associate Professor Dennis Petrie, Dr Laura Fanning & Dr Esa Chen from Monash University’s Centre for Health Economics, are collaborating on a $2.5 million Medical Research Future Fund project co-led by Dr Jean Spinks (University of Queensland), a former staff member and PhD student at the Centre for Health Economics, and Professor Lisa Nissen (QUT).

The aim of the project is to decrease the number of medication-related problems and hospital admissions in Australia. Serious medication-related problems can lead to a range of life-threatening issues such as haemorrhage, exacerbation of heart failure, renal failure or acute asthma, causing unplanned hospitalisations and costly health complications, and even death. Pharmacists, working collaboratively with GPs, Primary Health Networks and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO’s), will systematically address issues such as under prescribing, over prescribing or incomplete therapeutic monitoring.

The three-year collaborative trial will use health record data to automate the detection of medication safety issues before harm occurs. Other important aspects of the trial will include the co-design of the intervention with both consumers and health practitioners, the evaluation and refinement of incentive payments for health workforce engagement, and a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who use a lot of medication for chronic disease and may have reduced access to healthcare.