PSA Media Releases – 10 Important Messages For This Week

October 12, 2014

PSA welcomes Dutton call at PAC14 to better utilise skills and expertise of pharmacists

Calls by the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, for the health professionals to work together to improve patient outcomes have been echoed in a discussion paper released by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia at the weekend.

In a message to delegates at PSA’s annual conference, PAC 14, Mr Dutton said the role of pharmacists, particularly around primary care, was evolving.

“PSA has been advocating for an enhanced role for pharmacists in primary healthcare and this is an area in which we all have a very keen interest,” Mr Dutton said.

Pharmacists are already key players in coordinating and integrating care to improve patient health outcomes… the skills and expertise of pharmacists need to be better utilised and I am pleased there is a similar view across the health sector.”

Launching a Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement discussion paper, entitled, Better health outcomes through improved primary care: Optimising pharmacy’s contribution, PSA National President Grant Kardachi called on all health professional organisations to join in the discussion.

Mr Kardachi said the next Agreement needed a strong focus on evidence-based pharmacist services focussed on meeting patients’ needs.

Mr Dutton has strongly supported this approach and this paper provides an opportunity for health professionals and the public to comment on how pharmacists can help achieve this goal in a pragmatic and sustainable manner,” Mr Kardachi said.

The Minister also commented on the positive approach taken by PSA in joining with the AMA to develop a more integrated role for pharmacists in primary health care, with particular reference to PSA’s talks with the AMA to integrate pharmacists into GP clinics as part of primary health care teams.

Our paper is an important document that should be examined and commented on by health professionals across all sectors in Australia

I urge all health professional to examine the paper and provide PSA with feedback and suggestions. We need to ensure this Agreement meets the expectations and needs of the health-consuming public and we can only achieve this by all sectors of the health profession working together with a common goal of improving the health of consumers.”

September 12, 2014

Pharmacist guide to cultural responsiveness with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The importance of pharmacists and pharmacy staff being responsive to the health beliefs, practices, culture and linguistic needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities has been highlighted in a new guide officially launched at PAC14 in Canberra today.

The Guide to providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suggests all people working in this area undertake cultural responsiveness training.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said a culturally safe environment was one in which people felt comfortable and respected.

“To make a pharmacy more culturally safe for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pharmacists should seek the advice of local community members as to how the pharmacy can be made more welcoming,” Mr Kardachi said.

“A culturally safe pharmacy may include such things as a sign that welcomes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or flags and local artwork.

“It might also have health resources specifically written for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and perhaps a private area to discuss medicines.”

Mr Kardachi said that often it was the pharmacy assistants who engaged most frequently with patients and so all pharmacy staff should undertake cultural awareness training.

These principles apply in any situation where pharmacists and staff provide services offsite, including visiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, health centres and remote locations.

”Staff should be trained in cultural responsiveness and it should be an important component of staff performance management reviews. Staff should also be encouraged to attend community events such as NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) events,” he said.

Mr Kardachi said The Guide to providing pharmacy services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was an invaluable resource which covered cultural awareness and responsiveness, communication skills and relationship building.

The Guide is available at


October 11, 2014

2014 Pharmacy Student of the Year announced

Jamie Pisani from Charles Sturt University was named Pharmacy Student of the Year during a ceremony at the Pharmacy Australia Congress in Canberra last night.

Mr Pisani also won the added honour of picking up the audience choice award for the event.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, congratulated Mr Pisani on his great achievement in being named the Pharmacy Student of the Year for 2014.

“Every year I am impressed by the quality and skills of the students who compete for this prestigious award,” Mr Kardachi said.

“These young pharmacists undergo a challenging counselling session as part of the competition and during this session all competitors showed a great depth of clinical knowledge as well as empathy with the ‘patient’ in front of their peers which places added pressure on their performances.

“Every year the skills of the student’s we are called upon to judge in this competition are more impressive. However, Mr Pisani was a standout this year in a field of very impressive candidates.”

“The Pharmacy Student of the Year award event is a great learning experience for the participants, the profession and the audience as well.”

The eight State, Territory and Wildcard finalists this year were:

Ø  Jasmin Craig from the University of Tasmania

Ø  George Addatini from Sydney University

Ø  Rachel Vorlander from Monash University

Ø  Megan Waldhuber from the University of Canberra

Ø  Rebecca Tattingham from the University of South Australia (representing SA and NT)

Ø  Ashleigh Chapman from the University of Western Australia

Ø  Liam Mendiolea from James Cook University

Ø  The NAPSA wildcard, Jamie Pisani from CSU in NSW

This year’s competition was being jointly sponsored by Alphapharm and API.


October 11, 2014

PSA announces National Intern Pharmacist of the Year award

A new award to recognise a role model from among young pharmacists undertaking the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Intern Training Program was launched at PAC14 in Canberra today.

Announcing the new award, National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the role model sought will be a practising intern pharmacist who demonstrated exemplary performance in their development as a professional pharmacist.

“In addition, this intern pharmacist must be able to demonstrate a high level of communication and interpersonal skills, as well as showing leadership ability consistent with their future in the workplace,” Mr Kardachi said.

“Intern Pharmacists of the Year awarded in each state and territory will vie to take out the coveted title of the National Intern Pharmacist of the Year, who will be selected by an independent panel.”

Mr Kardachi said the development of an Intern Pharmacist of the Year meant the PSA awards system now covered all stages of a pharmacist’s career.

“This award complements the Pharmacy Student of the Year, the Young Pharmacist of the Year, the Pharmacist of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Awards, and highlights how PSA supports pharmacist at every stage of their career,” Mr Kardachi said.

MIMS Country Manager, Siobhan Murphy, said MIMS was very pleased to be able to partner with the PSA to sponsor the Intern of the Year Awards.

“Encouraging pharmacy interns to pursue excellence and supporting them through the provision of educational grants is something that has far reaching benefits to both the pharmacy profession but also the broader Australian community,” she said.

“This is in alignment with the ethos of MIMS where we look to support the healthcare communities we serve and, through them, the broader Australian community, by providing high quality, relevant knowledge and products.”

Further details of the new award are available at


October 10, 2014

PSA sees opportunity in Community Pharmacy Agreement to improve patient health outcomes

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has called for greater focus on improving patient health outcomes through the utilisation of professional services in the next Community Pharmacy Agreement.

In a discussion paper released today, PSA  says that the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement presents an opportunity to focus on the improvements in consumer health outcomes that can be achieved from the delivery of high quality pharmacist services, particularly for those with chronic diseases and on multiple medications.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the paper, entitled Better health outcomes through improved primary care: Optimising pharmacy’s contribution, would make an important and ongoing contribution to help shape the Agreement to meet the evolving health needs of the community.

“The 6CPA needs to ensure a strong focus on evidence-based pharmacist services focussed on meeting patients’ needs,” Mr Kardachi said.

“It also needs to give appropriate recognition to the vital role that pharmacists and community pharmacies play in our primary healthcare system and, in doing so, help to ensure this well-established health infrastructure remains viable and sustainable into the future.

“PSA wants to ensure that 6CPA can fulfil its potential to make a genuine difference to the health of the Australian community, as well as ensuring that pharmacies and pharmacists become more closely incorporated into the broader primary health care service environment.

“Increased investments in pharmacist services can deliver cost effective solutions for Government and better health outcomes for consumers, particularly those with chronic diseases who are taking multiple medications.

“It is essential that 6CPA is built on an evidence-informed framework.”

Mr Kardachi said the principles and options outlined in the paper were informed by evidence from local and international programs and research, not only in pharmacy but the broader health domain.

The paper is at


October 10, 2014

PSA call to be signatory to next Community Pharmacy Agreement

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, as the representative body for most Australia pharmacists, must be a signatory to the professional services part of the next Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA), the National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said today.

Speaking at the opening of PSA’s annual conference, PAC14, in Canberra, Mr Kardachi said realising the vision for the next CPA required pharmacy’s relevant professional bodies to work together. 

“This will increase the chance of an evidence-informed Agreement, reduce unnecessary duplication of resources, and most importantly, will provide the profession with the best chance of successfully implementing existing and new professional practice programs, thereby delivering high quality health services to the Australian public,” he said.

“Despite PSA’s role as the peak pharmacy body, since 3CPA, PSA’s role has been acknowledged only as ‘an active participant in those areas…related to professional practice’.

“Without PSA, there is no voice for the many pharmacists employed within the community pharmacy sector, who in fact make up the largest proportion of the workforce.” 

Mr Kardachi said PSA believed that if its advice and input were actively being sought to design the professional programs in 6CPA, then it was only fair and reasonable that PSA be a joint signatory to the parts of the Agreement dealing with professional programs and services. 

“Signatory status would of course need to be contingent on PSA being involved in all discussions that relate to the proposed professional programs and services in 6CPA,” he said.

“Greater transparency around the design of programs, especially where collaborative services are proposed, should also be considered. 

“Facilitating the engagement of consumers and other primary healthcare professionals in this process is a role that PSA could readily adopt, given its strong stakeholder relationships.

“But we must be committed to the change. Mistrust of the future often makes it hard to give up the past but we must rise above that approach and grasp the opportunities on offer.”


October 10, 2014

Olly Zekry wins PSA QUM in Pain Management Award

NSW medical centre pharmacist Olly Zekry has won the 2014 PSA Award for QUM in Pain Management.

Ms Zekry advocates strongly for pharmacists to play a key role in pain management and in preventing the progression of acute pain to chronic pain by clinical interventions and patient education.

She believes pharmacists can identify red flags, and the yellow flags that play a pivotal role in the progression of acute pain to chronic pain. Increased understanding of the mechanisms of acute pain and risk factors for progression to chronicity has led to improvements in clinical management.

Jointly presenting the award – which is sponsored by Mundipharma – at PAC14, were PSA National President Grant Kardachi and Mundipharma’s External Affairs Manager, Tathra Chai.

Mr Kardachi said Ms Zekry had shown HMRs to be very cost-effective, preventing unnecessary hospitalisation due to medication misadventure by providing education and timely reviews.

“Ms Zekry is passionate about pain management and this prompted her to study for the Masters Degree in Pain Management through the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney in 2011 and 2012,” Mr Kardachi said.

“Because of her passion for the area and her strong grasp of pharmacology and pain pharmacology, she was invited to join the Pain Management Research Institute (PMRI) with the Faculty of Medicine, Sydney University, as a tutor for the pharmacology units for the core subject PAIN 5003 Pain Treatment and Management Principles in 2013.

“In addition, she was invited this year to be course coordinator for the pharmacology units for the core subject PAIN 5003 Pain Treatment and Management Principles, and also course coordinator for the elective subject PAIN 5015 Pharmacology of Pain Medicine and in fact to rewrite and run the whole unit.

“Under her stewardship, the course is now an interactive online two-week revision, followed by six case-based pain topics over two weeks each, along with a short answer question and two longer case study questions.”

Mr Kardachi said Ms Zekry had identified well over 900 cases of undiagnosed neuropathic pain.

“She has always believed that the goal of all patients living with chronic pain, regardless of their medical history, is to improve function, reduce pain perception, enhance quality of life and minimise side effects,” Mr Kardachi said.

Ms Chai congratulated Ms Zekry saying “Mundipharma is proud to again sponsor the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Award for QUM in Pain Management because this award recognises those pharmacists who making outstanding contributions to the quality use of medicines through direct clinical care of consumers.”

“As the 2014 recipient of this award, Ms Zekry not only makes a significant contribution through her own clinical practice where she undertakes pain medication reviews and supports patients to achieve their goals to reduce pain and improve function, but further extends her contribution through her commitment to professional education.”


October 10, 2014

NSW rural pharmacist Taren Gill named as PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year 

NSW rural pharmacist Taren Gill has been named the PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year for 2014 during a ceremony at PAC14 today for her work as a community pharmacist and innovator in pharmacy practice.

Ms Gill’s award also recognises her extensive aged care work and her university mentoring and teaching as well as her commitment to quality program development.

Ms Gill said: “I am so pleased that the PSA recognises the achievements of early career pharmacists and I am excited and humbled to be receiving this recognition.

“I see this as a celebration of my efforts and challenges of growing as a professional while the pharmacy industry is changing, and I will use it as a springboard for further learning and development.”

National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said Ms Gill had proven at a young age that she was inspirational and was willing to move the profession forward through practical innovation and commitment.

“Her work in her community pharmacy has seen a wide range of practice innovations implemented which have resulted in better service for customers and as well as greatly improved business outcomes,” Mr Kardachi said.

“She is well known for her penchant for innovation and is committed to making sure pharmacists channel their enthusiasm into the programs the customers and community need. She believes in equality of health care no matter where you live.”

Brett Barons, General Manager – Pharmacy, of Symbion, sponsors of the awards for the tenth consecutive year, said Ms Gill stood out among an exceptional field of candidates.

“Taren is clearly very excited about the future of the profession and the role pharmacists can play moving forward,” Mr Barons said.

“She is an advocate of collaboration with other health professionals in improving health outcomes in the community and she leads by example.”


October 10, 2014

Louis Roller named as PSA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

A Victorian academic pharmacist who has been one of the country’s leading drivers in developing Quality Use of Medicines standards as well as recognising the value of partnerships between pharmacists, GPs and patients has been named as the 2014 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the PSA’s Excellence Awards announced in Canberra today.

Associate Professor Roller was recognised as one of the profession’s most effective and passionate advocates who has influenced the profession both academically and clinically through the development of a patient-focussed pharmacy course.

Associate professor Roller said he championed evidenced-based practice and professionalism in pharmacy.

“I think, I can sum up my attitude in the following way, I love my students and I love (warts and all), my profession of pharmacy,” he said.

“I feel, this award is awe-inspiring; but, I believe there are many more pharmacists out there who are equally worthy of this award.”

PSA National President Grant Kardachi said Associate Professor Roller was a very worthy recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Louis’s passion for the profession and his love of teaching have had a very positive and long-lasting influence over the many thousands of pharmacy graduates he has taught,” Mr Kardachi said.

“He has worked tirelessly to improve the education of undergraduate pharmacy students as well as pharmacy practitioners and this work has had a very positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Australians across the county.”

Brett Barons, General Manager – Pharmacy, of Symbion, sponsors of the awards for the tenth consecutive year, congratulated Associate Professor Roller on his award.

“Louis Roller has devoted his entire life to the profession and to the development and enhancement of the highest-quality education that continues to influence the ways pharmacists practice,” Mr Barons aid.

“Symbion is proud to sponsor this award which honours a man who has made such a significant contribution to the education of pharmacists, the Quality Use of Medicines and the philosophy of collaborative care.”


October 10, 2014
Lindy Swain named as PSA Pharmacist of the Year 

NSW pharmacist Lindy Swain has been named the PSA Pharmacist of the Year for 2014 for her work as a clinician, innovator, teacher and researcher in rural areas, and in particular in improving the health outcomes of indigenous Australians.

As a clinical pharmacist at Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service Ms Swain provides patient counselling and medication reviews, GP advice, nurse and Aboriginal health work training and pharmacy liaison.

Ms Swain said it was a huge honour to receive the 2014 PSA Pharmacist of the Year award.

“Every day many pharmacists do amazing things and make a huge difference to people’s lives,” she said.

“They all deserve awards. I am so lucky as I love the work I do and am constantly inspired by the students, young pharmacists and Aboriginal patients I meet.

“I hope the receipt of this award will assist me to raise awareness of the need for clinical pharmacists in Aboriginal Health Services.”

National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said Ms Swain was a pharmacy leader who inspired others.

“She is driven, committed and innovative and her leadership has helped countless pharmacists expand their knowledge and skills, and through this improve the health outcomes of members of the community,” Mr Kardachi said.

Brett Barons, General Manager – Pharmacy, of Symbion, sponsors of the awards for the tenth consecutive year, congratulated Ms Swain on her award.

“Lindy is a tireless advocate for rural health, and in particular for indigenous health,” Mr Barons said.

“This award is due recognition for the extraordinary work she performs not only at a clinical level but also in policy development to improve the health outcomes for people in rural areas.”


One response to “PSA Media Releases – 10 Important Messages For This Week”

  1. I strongly support initiatives to increase research into primary health care in Australian community pharmacies, and have for many years. A fundamental step needed for this to succeed, and one which seems not to attract a lot of focus, is for proprietor and employee pharmacists to wholeheartedly embrace research in community pharmacies. A sustained campaign is needed from PSA and the Pharmacy Guild. In the 1980s in South Australia, in the 1990s in Perth and again in 2003 I undertook primary health care research in pharmacies in which I was working without any funding support. I did it because I knew it was important and I cared about the future of pharmacy. I am sure there are plenty of other pharmacists who feel as passionate about pharmacy as I was (and still am) when I did those studies. What is needed now is for those pharmacists to go looking for ways they can participate. Don’t stand back and wait. Become proactive. If PSA and the Guild can tap into this vast resource it will make a vast difference to our professional future. John Gibson

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