December 3, 2014
NSW Govt backs pharmacist-delivered vaccinations
The NSW Government has pledged its continuing support to the current system of pharmacist-owned pharmacies and also to the introduction of pharmacist-delivered immunisations.
Jillian Skinner, NSW Minister for Health, made these commitments at a special Better Pharmacy Futures Forums conducted by the NSW Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia yesterday.
The forum, held at NSW Parliament House in Sydney, was hosted by the Hon. Melinda Pavey, MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, and also featured a presentation by the Shadow Minister for Health, The Hon. Walter Secord, MLC.
NSW Branch President of the PSA, Dr Stephen Carter, said the forum discussed a range of policy issues identified by PSA as critical to the future of the profession.
“Through our Better Pharmacy Futures Forums our members identified the policy issues which they felt needed to be put to the NSW Government and to all political parties in the build-up to the March 2015 NSW State Election,” Dr Carter said.
“The forum was part of the process of laying our policies and our vision for the future on the table for all the parties to consider and take note of as we head into this important election early next year.”
Dr Carter said the forum recognised the need for the pharmacy profession and government to work together to develop ways of easing the pressure on the NSW health system
“New funding models for professional services are needed and State governments are one option to consider. NSW pharmacists already receive payment from the NSW Government for their services through the NSW Opiate Program,” Dr Carter said.
“Yesterday’s forum sought candidates’ support for the extension of this existing NSW Health model of remuneration to a range of professional pharmacy services including those which prevent medication misadventures which cost Australia millions of dollars annually and see a huge number of hospital admissions and re-admissions.
“The profession is also seeking policies to improve pharmacist-to-patient ratios which will shorten patients’ stays and reduce adverse events, and also policies to facilitate community pharmacies in providing early screening for preventable and costly chronic illnesses.”
Other areas discussed include progressing the introduction of pharmacist-delivered immunisations, Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs and strategies to improve care for people with mental illness.
“This was a very constructive forum and I am confident that the policies presented by PSA will have a long-term beneficial effect on patient health outcomes and the future of the profession,” Dr Carter said.
December 4, 2014
MMR requirement removed for pharmacists seeking Credentialled Diabetes Educator accreditation
People living with diabetes will potentially have greater access to diabetes educators following the decision to remove the requirement that pharmacists have completed a Medication Management Review process before becoming a Credentialled Diabetes Educator.
The decision was ratified by the Australian Diabetes Educators Association board last week following joint representations by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the decision would enhance accessibility for consumers to diabetes educators.
“It will also broaden the scope of practice for pharmacists and provide business and professional opportunities moving into the future,” Mr Kardachi said.
Mr Kardachi said pharmacists would still need to undertake an accredited post graduate certificate in diabetes education and management course that all other health professionals complete to work in this area.
“However, they will not have to devote the time – and money – to first becoming MMR accredited which will make gaining the credentialling qualification more attractive to many pharmacists looking for advanced practice pathways,” he said.
The National President of the Guild, George Tambassis, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to collaborate with the PSA to achieve this sensible and very beneficial outcome – it’s good for pharmacists, and good for people living with diabetes.”
Dr Joanne Ramadge, CEO at the Australian Diabetes Educators Association said: “ADEA is pleased that pharmacists will now be able to become credentialled without the additional requirement for MMR accreditation.
“We hope this will encourage more pharmacists to become Credentialled Diabetes Educators as it makes a lot of sense as they play an important role in assisting people with diabetes to achieve good health outcomes.”
December 5, 2014
Cannabis use among the ageing on the rise
The flower children of the ’60s are now in their 60s – yesterday’s hippie is today’s pensioner and with this changed dynamic come challenges to the health system.
The exposure to illegal drugs in the ‘60s is reflected in Australian Institute and of Health and Welfare statistics showing increased illicit drug, particularly cannabis, use among the ageing population.
In the Australian Pharmacist cover story this month, the issue of growing illicit drug use, and the implications of this, are examined.
The need for pharmacists to be educated to counsel ageing patients who are using these drugs is also examined.
Also in December’s Australian Pharmacist, guest columnist Mark Kirschbaum, the Rural Pharmacy Liaison Officer of School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health at the University of Tasmania, looks at how pharmacists in Australia can help to increase health literacy among consumers.
“Pharmacists have a responsibility to ensure that the quality use of medicines is maintained and encouraging patients to increase their health literacy is an important aspect of this,” he argues.
Professor Lisa Nissen from the Queensland University of Technology and leader of the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP), tells Australian Pharmacist that she sees a time in the near future when all vaccinations are delivered by pharmacists.
Commenting on report that this is likely to be the situation in Britain within two years, Professor Nissen says: “We need to implement influenza vaccination across the country perhaps as a first step. Then build from there including other vaccines like whooping cough, measles, pneumococcal, travel vaccinations and so on.
“I think that the accessibility of pharmacies is key to improving the vaccination rate in the wider community, particularly for adults.”
The multi award-winning Australian Pharmacist journal is distributed monthly to PSA members as a member benefit.
Selected excerpts, including the cover story, can be accessed at www.psa.org.au