November 11, 201
Cannabis debate, Code of Ethics feature in latest edition of Australian Pharmacist
The role of pharmacists in the medical cannabis debate is coming under scrutiny, with growing public support for medical cannabis underscored by a recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Survey showing 69 per cent of people supported legislation allowing the medical use of cannabis, while 74 per cent of people backed more research into the issue.
Writing in the November edition of Australian Pharmacist, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia President Grant Kardachi said, however, there were challenges in clarifying the current legal status of cannabis products in Australia to allow medical use.
“Adding to an already complicated environment is the variety of approaches taken by other jurisdictions in balancing medical access with regulation,” he writes.
“I believe we must ensure that any therapeutic products available for public use are assessed for safety and efficacy and this is a key challenge surrounding pharmaceutical cannabinoids and crude cannabis products. The available research is confusing with studies supporting and rejecting the benefits of medical use of cannabis so we must carefully assess this research when developing a position.”
Also in the November Australian Pharmacist is an article looking at the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s [FIP] recently released Statement of Professional Standards and how it compares with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s own Code of Ethics.
Senior Lecturer and Master of Pharmacy Co-ordinator at the Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney. Dr Betty Chaar compares the FIP principles with those of the PSA.
Dr Chaar concludes there is no doubt PSA’s Code of Ethics for Pharmacists not only meets every FIP minimum professional standard for ethical practice, but exceeds them.
“We can stand proud of our Code of Ethics, knowing that many countries consider Australia a role model in pharmacy practice and professional standards,” she writes.
The multi award-winning Australian Pharmacist journal is distributed monthly to PSA members as a member benefit.
Selected exerts of Australian Pharmacist can be accessed at www.psa.org.au
14 November, 2014
PSA welcomes pledge on real-time prescription monitoring
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), Victorian Branch has welcomed the Victorian Coalition’s pledge to develop a real-time prescription monitoring service.
PSA Victorian Branch President Michelle Lynch said the Coalition’s commitment of $6.98 million over five years is a positive move.
‘A real time prescription monitoring system will be an important tool that assists doctors and pharmacists to effectively manage patients and prevent misuse of pharmaceuticals,’ Ms Lynch said.
‘It will provide transparency of information between health professionals to allow them to make informed and considered decisions to ensure the best health outcomes of the patient and ensuring quality use of medicine’.
‘PSA has been working with the Victorian Government and other health professions on a number of initiatives including advocating for real time prescription monitoring as one of the tools to combat pharmaceutical misuse in Victoria.
‘PSA stands ready to offer its expertise, in collaboration with doctors and other health professionals, to support the implementation of a real time prescription monitoring system in Victoria,’ Ms Lynch said.
The PSA Position statement on real time reporting by pharmacists ‘seeks the support of Governments to establish a coordinated and consistent system of real time reporting by pharmacists that provides the capacity to flag and track any substance of interest and which enables timely health interventions for at-risk consumers while also informing law enforcement activities where appropriate.’