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Never be afraid to ask!
Never be afraid to ask!
Never be afraid to ask!

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions below.

If you can't find the answer you're looking for you can call on 1800 927 366 or email us.


How is Thrive different to my current medication management?

Thrive puts you in the driver’s seat with your medications. With Thrive, a highly qualified Ward MM pharmacist will work with you, your GP and your specialists (if you have them) monthly to create a proactive personalised medication plan tailored to your needs at any given point in time. It will take into account your concerns, challenges and desires while also drilling right down into your unique DNA, making sure that wherever possible, you’re not coming to harm because of your medications.

In addition, you’ll have 24/7 phone access to a Medication Specialist and a personalised online dashboard to monitor your progress.

Currently the government fund 1 full medication review, and 2 short follow ups within a 9-month timeframe. These reviews must be referred by a GP or medical specialist and are limited in the depth of information they can review. They are not using DNA to maximise the benefits of medication, do not offer 24/7 support and do not allow for sufficient ongoing adjustment to your plan by a Medication Specialist as your medications and needs change.

Will I talk to the same clinical pharmacist every consultation?

Yes, the same Ward MM clinical pharmacist will be in touch every time – however, please understand there may be unforeseen circumstances where this is not possible, such as illness. In this instance we will make sure the person you do speak to understands your plan and requirements.

Why do I need extra medication reviews?

Medication reviews improve your life and reduce the risk of drug related problems. A review will assess your medications based on current research and risk aversion, potentially reducing your medication and reducing the cost to you. Simply put, taking the correct medication could prevent dizzy spells that result in falls, frequent need to visit the toilet and other lifestyle inconveniences.

What if something goes wrong or another side effect develops?

Your medication is altered gradually and you will be monitored more frequently during this period to ensure a positive outcome.

Why test my DNA?

DNA testing helps us and your GP to take some of the guess work out of medication selection. DNA testing allows us to make changes to your medications if results show you are either more susceptible to side effects from certain medicines or less likely to respond to treatment (it’s all about how fast your body can ‘metabolise’ a type of drug).

What happens to my DNA Data?

Your DNA test will be processed by myDNA in their National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory in Melbourne and will provide the results to your Ward MM Aged Care Medication Specialist. Your reports and genetic data are your property and results remain strictly confidential. Privacy and data security protocols are fundamental to myDNA. Find out more at

How is my family supported?

It is essential that, if you want them to, your family are given information to support you in feeling your best. If you would like us to, a Ward MM Aged Care Medication Specialist can meet with your family regularly to discuss your current medications and desired outcomes.

How does the Ward MM pharmacist support my GP?

Ward MM have developed this program in collaboration with doctors, ensuring efficient use of their time (so they have more time for you). Your Ward MM Medication Specialist will support your GP by regular visits to their clinic to;

  • review your medications, collaboratively adjusting your plan to try and prevent any future medication related issues.
  • provide your GP with a summary of your Medication Dashboard.
  • coordinate specialist consultations with your GP when required.
*Scientific Research

*Research indicates frequently reviewing medication reducesthe number of pills, pharmacy bills and hospitalisation 

Scientific Research Sources: 

  1. Steinman MA. BMJ Qual Saf Epub ahead of print (13/11/2018) doi: 101136/bmjqs-2018-008815. 2018.
  2. G, Schenck AP. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2018;66(12):2394-00.
  3. Lee CY, BeanlaHerity LB, Upchurch nd C, Goeman D, Petrie N, Petrie B, Vise F, et al. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 2018;43(6):813-21

Thrive (Health Professionals)

What are the benefits to my patient?
  • Thrive is designed to collaborate with you to improve your patient’s quality of life. The purpose of the new service is to aid in reducing the risk of medication related harm.
  • We will work closely with you, your patient, their specialists and their relatives to ensure that we have an understanding of their needs and concerns. We will then work collaboratively with you to provide a truly tailored personalised medication management plan which we will consistently monitor and revise through regular follow up.
What are the benefits to me?
  • Insight into the impact of your patient’s DNA on their ability to metabolise their current and future medications.
  • Access to a collaborative clinical pharmacist partner to help determine, support and monitor a long term proactive medication plan for your patient.
  • Supported clinical clerking activities to free up your time for patient facing tasks.
  • Regular case conferencing.
  • Insight into any non-prescription medications or supplements being taken by your patient to gain a full understanding of their medication profile.
  • Insight into potential additional goals and concerns faced by your patient and their relevant family members.
  • Benchmarked data insights on your prescribing practices.
Which MBS item numbers are claimable for Thrive?

903, 735, 739, 743, 701, 703, 705, 707, 721, 723, 731, 732, 747, 750, 758. See the downloadable PDF for full details.

Will Thrive involve more of my time?
There will be additional case conferences aimed at providing the best possible outcome for your patient, however, Ward MM will also be available to conduct ‘clinical clerking’ activities which could include some or all of the following tasks on your behalf:
  • Booking appointments for your patients to see you.
  • Blood glucose testing.
  • Blood pressure monitoring and recording.
  • Support medication dosing changes and adherence.
Is there any published evidence to state that this service will actually make any difference to my patient’s quality of life?

We know that people taking 5 or more medications are at an increased risk of medication related harm. There has been some published evidence of the advantages of medication management reviews identifying that they help reduce drug burden, drug costs and improve quality of life.

In the MJA in 2002 Gilbert et al evaluated a collaborative medication management service model which concluded that using case conferencing, a home visit and then a second case conference would be beneficial in engaging GPs and pharmacists and in assisting in the resolution of medication related problems.

The benefits that can be gained from RMMRs in the aged care home are difficult to ignore. They are delivered in a setting where almost all of the residents are elderly, where medication use is complex and fraught with risk, and where the acuity of care is progressively increasing overtime, these services have great potential to deliver improved outcomes and a decrease in drug related morbidity. It is apparent that by delivering these services more frequently will only improve on these benefits.

Pharmacogenomics aims to support a personalized prescribing approach to reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions. Many publications have identified this as one of the main advantages of using DNA testing for individuals to guide prescribing. The Ubiquitous Pharmacogenomics Consortium in Europe are commencing their first international implementation project to determine the impact of pre-emptive testing on ADR frequency, severity and associated costs.


  1. Gilbert AL, Roughead E, Beilby J, Mott K, Barratt J Collaborative Medication Management Services- Improving Patient Care. MJA 2002;177:189-192
  2. Nishtala PS, McLachlan AJ, Bell JS, Chen TF. A retrospective study of drug-related problems in Australian aged care homes: medication reviews involving pharmacists and general practitioners. J Eval Clin Pract 2011;17:97- 103.
  3. Nishtala SP, Hilmer SN, McLachlan AJ, Hannan P, Chen TF. Impact of Residential Medication Management Reviews on Drug Burden Index in Aged-Care Homes - A Retrospective Analysis. Drugs Aging 2009;26[8]:677- 686.
  4. Kapoor R, Tan-Koi WC, Teo YY. Role of pharmacogenetics in public health and clinical health care: a SWOT analysis. Eur J Hum Genet 2016;24(12):1651–1657
  5. van de Wouden CH, Cambon-Thomsen A, Cecchin E et al.; Ubiquitous Pharmacogenomics Consortium. Implementing Pharmacogenomics in Europe: Design and Implementation Strategy of the Ubiquitous Pharmacogenomics Consortium. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2017;101(3):341–358.
  6. NHS England. Improving outcomes through personalised medicine. Available
    at: (accessed May 2018)
How is this different to the current RMMR or HMR service?
  • At the moment the government fund one RMMR or HMR (aka DMMR) and up to two follow up reviews based on GP or medical specialist referral. This generally equates to approximately 2-4 hours of support from a Clinical Pharmacist in any 9 month period. Although this service provides valuable support to prescribers when considering prescribing regimens, accredited clinical pharmacists can achieve far greater outcomes when allowed more time to support the prescriber, patient, family, care staff, specialists and supply pharmacies.
  • In order to learn from other models, such as the role of a clinical pharmacist in the Australian hospital system, Ward MM have developed the Thrive service to truly consider the complexity and acuity of people being admitted to aged care homes and living in the community with chronic conditions. The service takes into consideration a number of factors not included in an RMMR or HMR, such as DNA results and family concerns, and creates a proactive long-term plan for your patient.
  • This plan is created in collaboration with you and, going beyond a basic RMMR or HMR, is regularly reviewed to ensure it continues to meet the current needs of your patient. The objective of this plan is to support you to make the best decisions for your patient with as much information and scientific rigor as possible.
I’m confident in my current prescribing. Why do I need your assistance?

This service is akin to what currently happens in the hospital system where the clinical pharmacists are able to be part of a multidisciplinary team. Working collaboratively in this way will allow us to identify medication related issues and ensure they are acted upon in a timely manner. We will also be able to provide you with feedback on your patient. The other difference is the provision of DNA testing which allows us to assess the metaboliser status of your patient. We can then discuss the implications of the test results with you to ensure that any potential medication changes can be acted upon during the case conference.

Scientific Evidence

Research indicates frequently reviewing medication reduces the number of pills, pharmacy bills and hospitalisation (1,2,3). 

Our bodies have an individual reaction to each medication based on our genes (4,5). DNA testing has been proven to reduce hospitalisation and emergency visits – 9.8% reduction for tested group vs 16.1% untested group (6)


  1. Steinman MA. BMJ Qual Saf Epub ahead of print (13/11/2018) doi: 101136/bmjqs-2018-008815. 2018.
  2. G, Schenck AP. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2018;66(12):2394-00.
  3. Lee CY, BeanlaHerity LB, Upchurch nd C, Goeman D, Petrie N, Petrie B, Vise F, et al. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 2018;43(6):813-21
  5. Dagostino C, Allegri M, Napolioni V, D’Agnelli V, Bignami E, Mutti A, et al. Pharmacogenomics and Personalised Medicine. 2018;11(1):179-91.
  6. Brixner D, Biltaji E, Bress A, Unni S, Ye X, Marniya T, et al. J Med Econ. 2016(19):213-28

Each year 250,000 Australians are admitted to hospital and 400,000 people present to emergency departments as a direct result of medication- related problems. 50% of this harm is preventable* via regular medicine reviews by an accredited clinical pharmacist.

Source: *Lim, R. Semple, S. Ellett, LK, Roughead, L. Medicine Safety: Take Care, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 2019.