New pharmacist guide for life-saving naloxone
4 February 2016
A new guide to inform pharmacists about the safe and effective supply of naloxone has been released by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), Australia’s peak pharmacist organisation.
The comprehensive guide has been produced following the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s decision to broaden the scheduling of naloxone – a life-saving medicine used to for opioid overdose – to include a pharmacist-only (Schedule 3) listing.
This means from 1 February 2016, a prescription is no longer required for naloxone, which is now available over-the-counter through pharmacies across Australia.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) National President Joe Demarte said the naloxone guide would help to ensure pharmacists are aware of and can fulfil their professional responsibilities.
“The PSA naloxone guide will be a very useful tool for Australian pharmacists, who must also meet State-based legislative requirements. Pharmacists are expected to exercise professional judgement in adapting the guidance to presenting circumstances,” Mr Demarte said.
Mr Demarte said the single-use, pre-filled naloxone syringe is a medicine that will help to save lives across Australia.
“Previously patients were required to go to their doctor to get a prescription then visit their pharmacy to receive naloxone – this scheduling change means people can now access the medicine directly from a pharmacy,” Mr Demarte said.
“Having this live-saving medicine available through Australian pharmacies is also an important step in harm minimisation.”
The PSA has also recorded a webinar by community pharmacist Angelo Pricolo, a CPD activity on the provision of naloxone as a Pharmacist-Only medicine and provided PSA members with links to additional supporting resources.
To find out more information about the PSA member guide, visit http://www.psa.org.au/guidelines/naloxone
Immunisation win for Tasmania as vaccination training soars
5 February 2016
A decision to allow trained pharmacists in Tasmania to administer influenza vaccines to adults has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), Australia’s peak body for pharmacists.
Under changes to Tasmanian health regulations announced yesterday, trained pharmacists will now be able to administer flu vaccines in approved sites across Tasmania.
PSA Tasmanian Branch President Rachel Dienaar said: “After all the hard work by PSA, it’s wonderful to see that local pharmacists will be now able to vaccinate – not only in community pharmacy but also at general practices and other approved sites for vaccination.”
Pharmacists wishing to administer flu vaccines will need to undergo appropriate training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to both deliver the vaccine and identify and treat any possible side effects.
In another major boost for the pharmacy sector, demand for pharmacist immunisation training has soared across Australia, according to the latest vaccination education statistics from the PSA.
Around 1260 pharmacists registered for PSA training from the middle of 2014 to February 1, 2016, in the wake of recent legislative changes in several states, enabling pharmacists to deliver high-quality immunisation services in pharmacies.
The PSA training courses, run in Victoria, SA, WA, NSW and Queensland, are based on the training used internationally by more than 150,000 pharmacists and in the highly successful Queensland Pharmacy Immunisation Pilot. The PSA’s vaccination training program comprises two parts: online pre-reading, and face-to-face workshops, which have been held across the country.
PSA spokesperson on immunisation Professor Lisa Nissen said: “The PSA has been a leader in advocating for pharmacists to deliver immunisations following the success of the high-profile immunisation trial in Queensland.
“Pharmacist-delivered immunisation is a very positive development for health delivery in Australia and will help to vaccinate cohorts of the community who previously would not have been vaccinated.
“Pharmacists also play an important role in promoting immunisation and reducing the impact of vaccine-preventable disease in the community.”
PSA National President Joe Demarte said: “In the lead-up to the flu season, we are expecting many more pharmacists to register for immunisation training this year, which is an important professional development tool. The PSA supports immunisation as both a public health program and as a means of managing an individual’s health.”