1.Immunisation focus at PAC14
Pharmacist-delivered immunisations are potentially an area of great opportunity for the pharmacy profession with the results of Phase 1 of the Queensland trial showing stunning results.
Analysis of Phase 1 of the pilot in Queensland shows more than 10,000 people were vaccinated by pharmacists during the trial. Further, 96% of those vaccinated stated that they were ‘completely satisfied’ with the pharmacist vaccination service, and 97% of those vaccinated indicated they would return to a pharmacy for future vaccinations. The data also shows that 14% of those vaccinated had never had a vaccination before while 38% had been vaccinated, but not every year.
The trial has now been extended with Phase 2, which began on September 1, involving up to 200 pharmacies and introducing whooping cough and measles vaccines into the Queensland-wide program.
With the success of the Queensland trial, the opportunity for pharmacists to immunise is one of intense discussion.
Ideas of a turf war, pharmacists lacking specific skills, pharmacies lacking basic logistic requirements and a lack of public benefit continue to swirl with intense opinion throughout medical and pharmacy media.
The Pharmacy Australia Congress (PAC14) will examine these issues and other aspects of pharmacist-delivered immunisations at two sessions during the Congress in Canberra.
They will be conducted by Chris Campbell who is the professional services pharmacist for the Terry White Chemists Group where he is responsible for the implementation of professional services across the group of 170 stores; and Professor Lisa Nissen, head of the School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, and whose research focuses on the Quality Use of Medicines in the wider community and the expansion of roles for pharmacists. PSA Queensland Branch President Michelle Rosenthal, a pharmacist whose career has spanned hospital and community practice and the pharmaceutical industry, will also present during the sessions.
The sessions will bring perspective, discussion and debate on the standards required, skills necessary and public health issues surrounding pharmacist immunisation, drawing on key opinion leaders in this fascinating advanced practice opportunity.
The Congress will be held at the National Convention Centre from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 October 2014.
Full program information and online registration is available at www.psa.org.au/pac
2. The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the appointment of Mr Martin Bowles as Secretary of the Department of Health.
Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Dr Lance Emerson, said Mr Bowles’ appointment brought great experience to the position at a time of challenges and opportunities for the health sector.
“Mr Bowles has great experience as both a Secretary and a Deputy Secretary in a number of government departments and his knowledge of the bureaucracy and the workings of government will be an invaluable asset in his new position,” Dr Emerson said.
“PSA looks forward to working with Mr Bowles and the department to help implement some of the necessary reforms to the health system and to better utilise the skills and knowledge of pharmacists to improve the health outcomes of all Australians.”
Dr Emerson said pharmacists had long been under-utilised in Australia and with the current budgetary pressures it was time to make full use of their knowledge and skills.
“Pharmacists have so much to offer the community and the health system,” Dr Emerson said.
“At PSA we are working with the doctor groups, the industry, consumer groups, government, stakeholders and other health organisations to develop and implement collaborative health strategies which will result in a healthier Australia and sustainable health system.
“PSA is the organisation best situated to ensuring the skills and knowledge of pharmacists are more fully utilised and that these strategies are realised. The PSA has 18,000 members and is the most representative pharmacy organisation in the country.
“This gives us a unique strength to act on the ideals as aspirations of the profession, and we will be urging Mr Bowles to join us in building on PSA’s aim of improving health outcomes for all Australians.”
Dr Emerson said the lead-up to the next Community Pharmacy Agreement would also be challenging time for Mr Bowles.
“This agreement is one of the important foundations for community pharmacists but there also are many opportunities for accredited and consultant pharmacists that lie outside of the parameters of the agreement,” Dr Emerson said.
“With the current economic climate, an ageing population and chronic disease pressure it is time to think smarter and act smarter in the delivery of health services.”