PSA Media Releases – 1. New EC Guide 2. PSA17 Conference 3. Pharmacists Honoured on Australia Day 4. New Practice Standards 5. Pre-Budget Submission

Informative new emergency contraception guide for pharmacists
February 2, 2017

New guidelines and professional resources for registered pharmacists have been released by the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA, following changes to emergency contraception (EC) medicines in Australia.

From February 1, 2017, pharmacists will now be able to supply ulipristal to women as a Pharmacist-Only (Schedule 3) medicine following a scheduling change.

Ulipristal is now approved for supply as EC up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected intercourse.

This change increases the options available for pharmacists to supply EC, while another option called levonorgestrel remains approved for up to 72 hours (three days) after unprotected intercourse.

PSA – which has been working closely with pharmacists and suppliers – has updated its detailed Guidelines for the provision of emergency contraception and other resources, which can be accessed by PSA members here.

PSA Executive Director Practice Support & Education Jan Ridd said PSA provided the updated resources to support pharmacists to concisely describe the differences between the two EC options now available in Australia.

These user-friendly resources include an updated guidance document for the provision of EC, which we recommend all pharmacists should familiarise themselves with to help with patient care,” Ms Ridd said.

As the peak body for all pharmacists, PSA believes pharmacists need to be confident and ready to handle sensitive requests for EC from patients.

The new PSA resources aim to guide pharmacists and assist their patients in making an informed decision about which EC is appropriate for their individual circumstances.”

An informative webinar is also available and Australian pharmacists can register here.

As part of the scheduling changes, new Schedule 3-specific packaging is also being developed.  However during this transition period, packaging and labelling exemptions have been secured from all State and Territory Health Departments across Australia to enable the Prescription Only medicine (Schedule 4) packaging and labelling to be supplied by pharmacists as a Schedule 3 medicine.

For more information, click here>>


PSA17 is the ‘must-attend’ global conference for pharmacists
February 1, 2017

More than 50 presenters, including international speakers and experts, will discuss major pharmacy issues at PSA17, the flagship annual conference for the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

PSA17To showcase the three-day global conference in Sydney – embracing the popular theme of Leading Pharmacy Innovation – PSA has also launched a new conference website.

PSA is delighted to partner 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 at Darling Harbour (formerly Four Points by Sheraton) from July 28-30, 2017.

An impressive line-up of local and international speakers will debate the most significant issues currently facing pharmacists and pharmacy, including:

  • The international antimicrobial resistance challenge: the roles of pharmacists
  • Medicinal cannabis
  • Women in leadership: Australian and global leadership
  • Health Destination Pharmacy: Sharing stories of success.

PSA’s Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) National Board Director Taren Gill said PSA17 is shaping up to be another must-attend event to help build a positive future for the profession.

We’ve built on all of the positive feedback we received from PSA16 – especially from ECPs – to ensure the 2017 conference will be bigger and better than ever,” Ms Gill said.  “Partnering with CPA also provides a unique opportunity to network with pharmacists and other ECPs from all over the Commonwealth.”

A number of engaging social events have been arranged for delegates – including visitors from leading Commonwealth nations – to network and discuss key healthcare issues.

PSA National President Joe Demarte said PSA was delighted to partner with the CPA, which has members from the Commonwealth of Nations throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific.

This joint conference will be a fantastic opportunity to highlight and discuss key issues affecting pharmacists in Australia and right across the Commonwealth, giving it a truly global perspective,” Mr Demarte said.

The new conference website – – is an exciting platform making it easy for delegates to keep updated on PSA17.  A limited amount of early bird tickets will be available from the PSA17 website from March 2017.

To visit the PSA17 website, click here>>

Outstanding pharmacists recognised in Australia Day honours
January 30, 2017

Leading Canberra-based pharmacist Professor Gabrielle Cooper has been applauded by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), for receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

As part of Australia Day celebrations, Professor Cooper received the OAM in the General Division to honour her outstanding service to pharmacy and tertiary education. Professor Cooper is a former PSA ACT Branch President and National Board Member and a current ACT Branch Committee member.

Mary Hemming, a PSA Life Fellow, was made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) for her contributions to community health. PSA Life Member Dr Graeme Blackman was also honoured with an AO.

PSA National President Joe Demarte applauded the outstanding achievements of all three pharmacists, saying their innovative work has helped shape a brighter future for pharmacy and pharmacists.

I sincerely congratulate Professor Cooper, Ms Hemming and Dr Blackman on the richly-deserved honours they received on Australia Day. I also thank them for their strong support of PSA over many years,” Mr Demarte said.

Their long-standing support of PSA demonstrates how dedicated and passionate they are about pharmacy, pharmacists and the future viability of the profession.”

Professor Cooper, from the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra (UC), specialises in applied therapeutics. She is also Chair of the Capital Health Network (CHN), ACT’s primary health network. Professor Cooper obtained her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2004 and in the same year founded the Discipline of Pharmacy at UC.

Ms Hemming – from Melbourne – has played a major role in forming the not-for-profit publisher Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd (TGL) with the mission of providing reliable and independent therapeutic information for health professionals. She served as the organisation’s CEO from 1996 until her retirement in 2012.

Dr Blackman – also from Melbourne – was recognised for his work in biotechnology, aged care, policy development and theology. His current appointments include Chairman of the Board of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), Director of IDT Australia and Chairman of the Board of the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia.


PSA invites feedback on revised professional practice standards 
January 25, 2017

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), the peak national body for pharmacists, has commenced consultation on a revised draft of the Professional Practice Standards – a key document produced by PSA for the pharmacy profession.

PSA has undertaken the review to ensure the Standards are consistent with the professional requirements of contemporary pharmacist practice, and reflect the expectations of Australian healthcare consumers.

A significant outcome of the review has been the alignment of individual Standards to four key streams developed based on professional roles and activities – Foundations, Provision of Therapeutic Goods, Provision of Health Information and Professional Services – in order to promote clarity and assist practitioners to navigate the document.

The review has also renewed the focus on patient-centred collaborative care, and emphasised several new and emerging services, including vaccination and minor ailment services.

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

The consultation paper, including the revised Standards, can be accessed here.

After reviewing the consultation paper, please provide feedback through the consultation survey.

PSA gratefully acknowledges the Australian Government Department of Health for providing funding for this work as part of the PBS Access and Sustainability Package including the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Consultation on the revised PSA Professional Practice Standards will be open until 1 March 2017. Any queries regarding this consultation can be emailed to


Pharmacists can deliver efficient, quality healthcare solutions
January 19, 2017


Including pharmacists in the Health Care Homes (HCH) initiative and implementing a large scale trial integrating pharmacists in general practice clinics are cost-effective solutions the Federal Government should consider in the 2017-18 Budget, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said today.

As the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA outlined these key health reforms in its 2017-18 pre-Budget submission as well as called for pharmacists to become digital health champions to optimise medication management and encourage uptake of e-health records.

PSA National President Joe Demarte said pharmacists are highly accessible and qualified health professionals in Australia but their skills, knowledge and expertise are often under-utilised.

There’s a significant opportunity for the Government to further optimise the contribution of pharmacists to improve healthcare and reduce costs in Australia’s health system,” Mr Demarte said.

Through the HCH initiative, Mr Demarte said pharmacists were best placed to provide medication management, high quality medicines advice and education to consumers, particularly those with chronic and complex conditions.

Including a pharmacist in the HCH team has the potential to reduce poly-pharmacy, as well as preventable medication-related hospital admissions and readmissions,” Mr Demarte said. “Without a pharmacist in the HCH team, Australia lags behind other countries in terms of evidence-based models of care for consumers with chronic and complex conditions.”

In its 2017-18 pre-Budget submission, PSA also called on the Government to fund a large scale implementation trial integrating pharmacists in general practice, to determine the best approach for an evidence-based model in Australia and the value of this model to the health system.

In Australia, the GP-pharmacist concept has been endorsed by leading medical organisations, acknowledging the value pharmacists add to the primary healthcare team. However the growth of this model has been limited to a small number of practices due to the absence of funding,” Mr Demarte said.

PSA has urged the Government to reform funding arrangements to optimise the roles of pharmacists in rural and remote areas to reduce the burden on hospitals and other medical professionals.

In regional areas, there are often greater hospitalisations as lower levels of primary care force consumers to go to hospital for minor medical conditions that can be treated in a more appropriate setting,” Mr Demarte said.

Mr Demarte said to reduce these presentations, and provide access to safe and effective primary care for minor ailments, PSA has proposed the adoption of a Minor Ailment Scheme.

The success of this cost-saving strategy has been demonstrated in the UK and Canada as an affordable and rapidly implementable solution,” Mr Demarte said.

PSA also urged the Government to allocate funding to develop quality indicators to measure health outcomes for pharmacist practice.

Mr Demarte said there are many positive outcomes for Australia by optimising the role of pharmacists, especially within collaborative healthcare frameworks.

Pharmacists and the community pharmacy sector are critical to the Government’s efforts to achieve sustainable, efficient and quality healthcare in Australia.”

To read PSA’s 2017-18 pre-Budget submission: Optimising the contribution of pharmacists to achieve sustainable, efficient and quality healthcare for all Australiansclick here>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *