1.Dr Shane Jackson elected new PSA National President
June 22, 2017
Tasmanian pharmacist Dr Shane Jackson has been elected as President by the National Board of the peak body for Australia’s pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) today.
Dr Jackson – who will take office from July 1, 2017 – has followed Joe Demarte who served as National President for two years.
Dr Jackson paid tribute to Mr Demarte who has served as President since July 2015.
“Joe has been an inspirational leader and helped to position PSA for the future – he has been instrumental in helping guide the profession to meet the evolving needs of today’s healthcare system,” Dr Jackson said.
“Within the pharmacy profession, Joe has been a driver behind funding for clinical interventions and MedsChecks. Thanks to Joe’s leadership and support, PSA has lifted its profile to become an organisation that is now widely recognised as the peak national body for all pharmacists across Australia.”
The Board also elected Michelle Lynch and Dr Chris Freeman as National Vice-Presidents.
As an owner of two community pharmacies in Tasmania, Dr Jackson is a Clinical Reference Lead with the Australian Digital Health Agency, a Director of the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) and Chair of the Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee (PPDC).
From 2006 to 2010, Dr Jackson was a PSA National Board Director, and from 2008 to 2014 he was President of PSA’s Tasmanian Branch. Dr Jackson said he was greatly honoured to be elected National President, which is an important leadership role for PSA and the pharmacy profession.
“I am delighted to take on this role and I look forward to working with the National Board, PSA’s elected officials, executive team and all members to ensure we continue to collaborate to have a viable and sustainable future for all pharmacists, and assist members deliver excellence in pharmacist care,” Dr Jackson said.
“It’s an exciting time for the profession and there are many emerging opportunities, especially in terms of new career paths, new roles and remuneration, innovation and value-adding healthcare services provided by PSA to members. I am fully committed to helping members maximise these opportunities and help build their professional careers as well as improving the health of all Australians.”
PSA’s National Board also re-appointed Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) Director Taren Gill for another term.
Dr Jackson said: “PSA’s Board is pleased to announce they have extended Ms Gill’s Board appointment for another year. Ms Gill has been an effective Board member and has also been effective in raising the needs and interests of ECPs within the profession and PSA. The Board believes that another year will greatly assist in maximising Ms Gill’s impact.”
2. Better utilising pharmacists’ skills welcomed to improve consumer health in Australia
June 22, 2017
Acknowledgement by the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation Panel that “there is significant opportunity to better utilise the skills of pharmacists to support improved access to health services and improved health outcomes for the community” has been welcomed today by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
PSA also welcomed the Panel’s interim recommendation for developing a “more flexible approach to the delivery of pharmacy services” and support for “integration of healthcare services, while also encouraging innovation in business models.” These points were a key focus of PSA’s submission to the Review.
However PSA National President Joe Demarte said there were some concerning issues in the interim report.
“The implication that pharmacy could give back $1.9 billion over the next four years through a flat dispensing fee option of between $9 and $11.50 is concerning, particularly given the heavy impact of price disclosure,” Mr Demarte said.
“We are seriously concerned about the flow-on effects of this for pharmacists’ wages – the main cause of dissatisfaction in the profession. Furthermore, while the interim report acknowledges the positive impact of a range of pharmacists’ services, it’s vague on presenting concrete options for progressing services to benefit consumers.”
Mr Demarte said there were many positive options in the interim report. PSA agreed with the Review Panel that all parties responsible for the major components of the delivery of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines need to be represented as signatories to the Agreement.
“We are delighted to see the Panel make this significant recommendation to involve the peak national body for all pharmacists in future Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA) negotiations,” Mr Demarte said.
“Having PSA at the table for these discussions is a smart move. It will add considerable value to future Agreements by including PSA’s recognised expertise as well as giving a voice to all pharmacists working to deliver services to the community; this is something PSA, our members and consumers have advocated for more than a decade.”
Other key recommendations and principles in the interim report, called for by PSA in its submission, include:
- The abolition of the $1 discount on the PBS patient co-payment.
- Consideration of increasing the cap on HMRs, combined with more targeted eligibility criteria based on need.
- Diversifying and broadening the remuneration base for pharmacists and pharmacies outside of PBS expenditure.
- Payment for services delivered in pharmacies to match those delivered in other health services (e.g. pharmacist-administered vaccinations).
- Homeopathic products should not be sold in PBS-approved pharmacies.
- The ability for an Aboriginal Health Service to employ pharmacists should be trialled to see if it improves services and outcomes for Indigenous Australians.
Mr Demarte said: “We are also delighted to see consumer research commissioned by the panel identified that placing pharmacies inside supermarkets is not a popular solution to address perceived consumer access issues.”
He said while the report addressed some of the major factors and issues affecting Australia’s pharmacy landscape and supported a sustainable community pharmacy network, there are still many questions to be answered including the delivery of professional pharmacy services.
“We will consult with members from all areas of practice to comprehensively assess the interim report, which will inform PSA’s detailed response,” Mr Demarte said.
Mr Demarte said PSA looked forward to meeting with the Review Panel to discuss the report in more detail as well as working with the Government to assist in ensuring pharmacists’ role within Australia’s health system is optimised.
Noting the Panel’s request for evidence that supports particular options and their implementation, PSA will develop a comprehensive response to the interim report.
PSA has urged all pharmacists to share their views with PSA regarding the report’s recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Pharmacist vaccination expansion welcomed in ACT
June 22, 2017
A decision to expand pharmacist-administered vaccinations in Canberra has been welcomed as an important community health outcome by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) today.
“PSA applauds the ACT Government’s decision to expand pharmacist-delivered vaccinations, which is a positive step forward for improving health in our local community,” Mr Reid said.PSA ACT President Patrick Reid said the decision to expand immunisation services by pharmacists was based on the success of flu vaccinations provided by ACT pharmacists.
“This positive healthcare outcome has occurred thanks to the support of the Health Protection Service (HPS) working closely with the PSA ACT Branch and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) ACT Branch.
Under new changes to ACT health regulations, trained pharmacists will now be able to administer vaccinations for influenza, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
“We are also delighted that PSA’s input into the amended ACT Pharmacist Vaccination Standards, as part of this policy change, was welcomed and accepted, with the ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris approving the expansion of scope of practice for pharmacists in Canberra.”
Mr Reid said pharmacists played a vital role in promoting immunisation and reducing the impact of vaccine-preventable disease in the community, especially to vaccinate cohorts of the community who previously would not have been vaccinated.
Across Australia, pharmacists can now vaccinate for influenza and whooping cough in Victoria – while pharmacists can also vaccinate for whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and tetanus in Queensland and the Northern Territory. In SA, pharmacists can also vaccinate for whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and tetanus as well as polio.
PSA CEO Dr Lance Emerson said: “PSA is also working closely with State and Territory Governments and key health stakeholders to expand immunisation services beyond influenza vaccination.
“PSA supports immunisation as both a public health program and as a means of managing an individual’s health.
“PSA’s Immunisation Training Programs are tailored for State and Territory requirements. They are nationally accredited and approved by State and Territory Health Departments.
“Tens of thousands of Australians have been immunised across the nation by pharmacists over the past two years.”
4. Conference to explore collaborative healthcare opportunities
June 21, 2017
A panel of experts will discuss how the unique skills of pharmacists can be better utilised as part of a collaborative care model at the flagship conference PSA17, hosted by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
The Primary Health Networks (PHNs): collaborative roles of pharmacists in primary care and Health Care Homes panel session on Friday July 28 will explore ways to maximise the full potential of pharmacists in these roles.
PSA National Board Director Dr Shane Jackson will chair the expert panel session which will feature leading pharmacists working in collaborative care models in Australia including community pharmacy.
“We are looking forward to some lively discussion around innovative healthcare models, which have demonstrated significant benefits for patients, by employing care teams led by GPs and using an expanded staffing model in which nurses, pharmacists and others assume greater care management roles,” Dr Jackson said.
PHNs have been established with the key objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.
The Health Care Home (HCH) is another model designed to help transform primary health care and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system, particularly for consumers with chronic and complex conditions.
Dr Jackson said: “It’s vital for the pharmacy profession to consider how pharmacists working in community pharmacy or integrated within a general practice can address the needs of PHNs and the HCH.
“We invite all pharmacists to attend this important session to discover how they can play a greater part in this collaborative model of care and contribute to better health outcomes for patients in their local community,” Dr Jackson said.
PSA is partnering with the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) to jointly host the PSA17 conference at one of Sydney’s premier convention spaces, the newly refurbished Hyatt Regency Sydney at Darling Harbour from July 28–30, 2017.
To find out more, visit www.PSA17.com
5. Revised Professional Practice Standards released for pharmacists
June 20, 2017
The Professional Practice Standards (PPS) Version 5 (V5) – a fundamental tool for all pharmacists and the pharmacy profession – has been released today by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
The release of PPS V5 follows a comprehensive review process, undertaken to ensure the standards are consistent with the professional requirements of contemporary pharmacist practice, and reflect the expectations of Australian healthcare consumers.
Project Advisory Group Chair Grant Kardachi said the revised version of the PPS reflected the important role pharmacists play in Australia’s evolving healthcare sector.
“There is a renewed focus on patient-centred collaborative care, and several new standards detail emerging professional activities such as vaccination and minor ailment services,” said Mr Kardachi.
“The creation of four key streams in the document – Foundations of Practice, Providing Therapeutic Goods, Providing Health Information and Delivering Professional Services – clearly highlights the professional roles and activities contemporary pharmacists undertake.
“All pharmacists across the profession should familiarise themselves with these standards and use them to assess and guide their practice as a means to optimising their contribution to improve the health of all Australians.”
PSA’s PPS enables the pharmacy profession to qualitatively and quantitatively measure the commitment to providing high quality, reliable healthcare services and products. PPS V5 has been endorsed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia.
PSA has recognised the significant contribution of the members of the Project Advisory Group and the Standard Review Groups for this project, and thanked the many individuals and organisations that contributed to the review through the public consultation process.
In addition, PSA gratefully acknowledges the Federal Department of Health for providing funding for this important work as part of the PBS Access and Sustainability Package including the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.
PPS V5 can be accessed here>>
A number of practice support tools to assist with implementing PPS V5 are also scheduled for release in July 2017.