PSA Media Releases – 1. Commonsense Outcome for MedsASSIST 2. Nominees for PSA elections increase 3. Pharmacy Services and Screenings Must be Evidence-Based 4. Compounding Standards – Feedback Requested

Common sense outcome on MedsASSIST
March 30, 2017

Pharmacists have applauded Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt for supporting the continuation of the MedsASSIST program in Australia, the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said today.

Mr Hunt has supported continuing MedsASSIST which was scheduled to be discontinued from 10pm tonight.

PSA National President Joe Demarte congratulated Mr Hunt on a “common sense decision” regarding the program, as one of the many strategies required to help reduce the harm from misuse of combination analgesic codeine containing medicines.

“Pharmacists expressed concerns about the possible shutdown of this system which many pharmacists were using around Australia,” Mr Demarte said.

“This shows that pharmacists are strongly committed to addressing the issue of inappropriate use of codeine in Australia.”

As the peak body for all pharmacists in Australia, PSA has made several submissions to the Government on the importance of real-time recording and reporting as well as released a Position Statement last year – read here>>

“PSA believes the urgent implementation of a national real-time recording and reporting system is needed to allow for real-time monitoring of prescribing and dispensing of specific medicines,” Mr Demarte said.

“There is a need for real-time recording to be expanded to include all drugs of dependence.”


Record number and greater diversity of nominees for PSA elections
March 29, 2017

An unprecedented number of nominations – including from a record number of female and Early Career Pharmacists (ECPs) – have been received for positions on the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) State and Territory Branch Committees.

As the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA will now hold Branch Committee ballots for pharmacists seeking to represent their profession. Under PSA’s Constitution, ballots are only required if the number of nominations exceeds the number of positions on the Branch Committee.

PSA CEO Dr Lance Emerson said the record number and diversity of nominations was a fantastic result for shaping the future of the profession.

“The high number of nominations and diversity of candidates means PSA members will be able to vote for a strong cross-section of pharmacists to represent them on Branch Committees. These Committees then nominate Directors to the PSA Board,” Dr Emerson said.

Dr Emerson said he was encouraged to see a record number of ECPs and female pharmacists nominating for Branch Committee positions.

“This shows that PSA’s diversity platform and focus on supporting ECPs is working. I’m delighted to see highly motivated early career and female pharmacists – including from a range of cultural backgrounds – raising their hands to help lead the way forward for pharmacists in Australia,” Dr Emerson said.

The PSA elections offer a unique opportunity for members to engage with PSA to:

Have a say in the future of PSA at a State and National level

Help lead the profession to support excellence in pharmacy

Influence PSA policies and ensure a viable and sustainable future for pharmacists and pharmacy

Enjoy personal development and new career opportunities.

The PSA Branch Committee election voting will be held between April 14 – May 11, 2017.

Successful Branch Committee Members will hold office for a three-year term, beginning on July 1 2017.

Under PSA’s Constitution, ballots are only required if the number of nominations exceeds the number of positions on the Branch Committee. Ballot papers for the States/Territories holding elections will be sent to members soon (which for this year will be every State except Tasmania and ACT), along with candidate biographies and platforms. For the first time, PSA’s election agency will also be accepting votes online for the 2017 ballot.

We encourage all PSA members to participate in the 2017 Branch Committee elections, read more>>

Screening services in pharmacies must be evidence-based
March 25, 2017
Screening and risk assessment activities in community pharmacy must be evidence-based, meet unmet needs in the community, be appropriate for a pharmacy setting and provided by an appropriately-trained pharmacist, the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA said today.

PSA responded to media reports criticising a new “Strokecheck” screening service offered through the Amcal pharmacy banner group.

Screening and risk assessment – which is within the scope of all pharmacists’ practice in Australia – is a key component of Australia’s strategy to reduce the burden of preventable disease. There is strong evidence screening and risk assessment targeted at preventable conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular, chronic kidney disease and osteoporosis, is cost-effective and improves population health.

PSA National President Joe Demarte said: “The opportunity is obvious in that it represents another avenue for highly accessible community pharmacies to embed themselves as important contributors to our healthcare system.

“However the responsibility, on the other hand, is to remember that this is a preventive health service and deserves to be treated as such.  With this in mind, PSA has a new position statement on screening and risk assessment to help pharmacists with this important issue.”

PSA’s statement outlines five principles that should underpin pharmacy-based screening and risk assessment services. These principles are informed by the World Health Organization’s Principles of early disease detection.

The principles include:

Principle 1: Screening and risk assessment services should target conditions associated with a significant burden of disease, and populations where interventions provide greatest value.

Principle 2: Interventions must be evidence-based and appropriate for the pharmacy setting.

Principle 3: Pharmacists need to obtain and document informed consent.

Principle 4: Pharmacists must facilitate appropriate follow up, including referral for patients with a positive screening test.

Principle 5: Pharmacists must be appropriately trained and equipped to provide screening and risk assessment services.

Mr Demarte said: “Screening and risk assessment activities in community pharmacy must not only be evidence-based and appropriate for the pharmacy setting, they must only be provided by an appropriately trained and equipped pharmacist using validated screening and risk assessment tools.”

Feedback invited on revised Compounding Standard
March 21, 2017
Public consultation has begun on the revised Compounding Standard, as part of the wider review of the Professional Practice Standards (PPS) developed by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

The Standard outlines the actions pharmacists need to meet to enable patients to have timely access to safe, efficacious and quality compounded medicines.

One of the major outcomes of the review has been to ensure consistency of the Compounding Standard with the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Guidelines on compounding of medicines, particularly with respect to the differentiation between simple and complex compounding activities.

While the Standard is intended to apply to all compounding, it identifies additional actions that need to be undertaken when compounding complex preparations. The review also highlighted the requirement for compounding activities to be guided by appropriate risk assessment.

During the consultation period on the revised Compounding Standard, PSA welcomes comments from interested individuals and organisations, including members of the pharmacy profession as well as consumers, other health professional groups and practitioners, educators, researchers and government bodies.

The consultation paper, including the revised Compounding Standard and accompanying risk assessment tool, can be accessed here.

PSA acknowledges the Australian Government Department of Health for providing funding for this important work as part of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Access and Sustainability Package, including the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Please review the consultation paper first then provide feedback through the consultation survey, which can be found here.

Consultation on the revised Compounding Standard will be open until 18 April 2017.

Any queries about this process can be sent to

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