October 7, 2015
PSA welcomes key role for pharmacists in dispensing medicinal cannabis
Victorian pharmacists will play a pivotal role under proposals announced by the Victorian Government to make medicinal cannabis available to some patients under exceptional circumstances from 2017.
Acting National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Michelle Lynch, said that under the new regulations, pharmacists will dispense medicinal cannabis after authorisation is provided by medical specialists.
“Having pharmacists acknowledged as best-placed to dispense medicinal cannabis is welcomed as it ensures that medicines experts are available to advise and counsel patients using these products,” Ms Lynch said.
Ms Lynch said there were specific eligibility requirements for the scheme based on conditions and corresponding symptoms. These were:
- Severe muscle spasms or severe pain resulting from multiple sclerosis
- Severe pain, nausea, vomiting or wasting arising from cancer, HIV/AIDS
- Severe seizures resulting from epileptic conditions where other treatment options have failed or have intolerable side effects
- Severe chronic pain with the approval of two specialists
Ms Lynch said the Victorian move aligned with PSA’s policy on medicinal cannabis.
“PSA’s statement on the Therapeutic use of cannabis states: ‘Where under the treatment of a medical practitioner it is established that the potential therapeutic benefits outweigh the risks, PSA support the use of medicinal cannabis with appropriate medical oversight and ongoing monitoring of outcomes.’
“PSA also supports the development of an information and education program to support pharmacists in the dispensing of cannabis-based therapies and provision of information to patients, carers and prescribers.
“PSA welcomes the opportunity for pharmacists to work in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team to provide care and advice to patients using medicinal cannabis.”
October 6, 2015
PSA launches GP-Pharmacist Connect
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s proposed model to integrate pharmacists into GP practices has received such great support that today the PSA has announced the launch of a new service – GP-Pharmacist Connect to link General Practices with pharmacists.
Chief Executive Officer of the PSA, Dr Lance Emerson, said GP-Pharmacist Connect had been developed in response to demand from general practices requiring pharmacist clinical services.
“PSA has been contacted by GP practices interested in the concept asking PSA to help them to find a pharmacist for their practice,” Dr Emerson said.
“Many of our members have also contacted us about their interest in working in GP practices.
“Through GP-Pharmacist Connect, general practices will be provided with a complete solution.
“We will help the general practice identify needs, match those needs with a pharmacist and assist in ongoing quality assurance.”
Dr Emerson said PSA was in the process seeking expressions of interest to participate from GP surgeries, Primary Healthcare Networks, but most importantly – pharmacists.
“One of the great strengths of GP-Pharmacist Connect is that it is overseen by Australia’s main Practice Pharmacist experts who are leading innovation in this area both nationally and internationally,” he said.
PSA Board member, general practice pharmacist and international expert in the field Dr Chris Freeman said: “We are asking pharmacists interested in taking up this career pathway to send us their CVs so that we can start to scope their connection with General Practices seeking pharmacist clinical services.
“GP-Pharmacist Connect is an important new service which reflects PSA’s commitment to developing new and innovative career pathways and enhanced remuneration for PSA members.”
Pharmacists or doctors interested in further information should send their details to GPpharmacistconnect@psa.org.au