PSA Media Releases – Multi Releases for October 2016

Support to continue for Advanced Practice Pharmacists
Strong support will continue for Advanced Practice Pharmacists to ensure excellence in pharmacist care and deliver better health outcomes for all Australians, the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said today.

PSA reiterated its support for Advanced Practice Pharmacists following a decision by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) to end the national credentialing of pharmacists in advanced practice citing sustainability issues.

PSA National Vice President Michelle Lynch acknowledged the importance of formal recognition of pharmacists working at an advanced level in their area of expert professional practice and said it was disappointing to see formal recognition of advanced practice put on hold.

“We understand the APC’s decision to end their support of this credentialing program for sustainability reasons,” Ms Lynch said.

“However PSA will continue to recognise all members who become credentialed as an Advanced Practice Pharmacist by offering them the opportunity to become Fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society and use the post nominals (FPS).”

PSA paid tribute to the significant work of the APC in developing and piloting a national credentialing program to evaluate practitioner performance and guide development by an independent evaluation against the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework for Australia.

“PSA will be actively involved in working with the pharmacy profession to ensure the sustainability of the credentialing process for Advanced Practice Pharmacists,” Ms Lynch said.

“As outlined by the Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee (PPDC), we look forward to discussions on a future model of recognition and credentialing and working together as ‘one profession’ to ensure sustainability of the credentialing process.”

PSA already supports pharmacists advancing their professional practice through PSA’s Career Pathways and Advanced Practice Support initiatives launched at the PSA16 conference in Sydney in July 2016.

“We will continue to offer our support program of advanced practice development for all pharmacists, in all practice settings, who are interested in advancing their professional practice and evaluating their impact along the practice continuum to provide robust career frameworks,” Ms Lynch said.

Feedback invited on revised Code of Ethics for pharmacists

A consultation process has started on a revised draft of the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists – a key document produced by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

PSA has undertaken the review to ensure the Code is consistent with the ethical requirements of contemporary pharmacist practice, and reflects the expectations of Australian healthcare consumers.

The Code applies to every pharmacist irrespective of the role, scope, level or location of practice.  Intern pharmacists and pharmacy students are also expected to comply with the Code during periods of supervised practice (clinical placements).  PSA’s current Code (published in 2011) is also endorsed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

PSA has acknowledged the Federal Department of Health for providing funding for this important work.

A significant outcome of the review has been the alignment of the Code’s Principles to three ethical values pertinent to professionalism – Care, Integrity and Capability – with the revised Code seeking to articulate the behaviours that encompass these values in pharmacy practice.  The review has also renewed the focus on patient-centred collaborative care and emphasised the importance of enhancing public trust in the profession.

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

The consultation paper, including the revised Code, can be accessed here>>

Please review the consultation paper first then provide feedback through the consultation survey, which can be accessed at

Consultation on this revised PSA Code will be open until 11 November 2016.

Any queries regarding this consultation can be emailed to:

All pharmacists are medicines specialists, says peak professional body

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) today reiterated the extensive medicines expertise of all pharmacists, regardless of the setting in which they practice.

As highlighted in PSA’s submission to the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation, the Competency Standards for pharmacists which all pharmacists are required to meet as a condition of their registration with AHPRA – clearly demonstrate this extensive expertise.

Responding to statements made by The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) in its submission to the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation comparing the standards of care delivered by hospital and community pharmacists, PSA National President Joe Demarte said it was disappointing to see such ill-informed and divisive comments from another pharmacy group.

“These sorts of invidious comparisons run counter to the Code of Ethics for pharmacists, which applies to pharmacists working in any area of the profession. Moreover, there is no basis in evidence for making such claims,” Mr Demarte said.

“Community pharmacists in Australia are one of the largest, most trusted and most accessible groups of health professionals.  Community pharmacies have provided and will continue to provide a vital network for primary and preventative community-based health care.”

Mr Demarte also rebuffed SHPA’s misleading statements regarding PSA’s capacity to deliver policy assistance and expert advice to Government.

“Given PSA’s recognised role in providing this very expertise through the Federal Government’s Health Peak Advisory Bodies program funding, we are perplexed as to why SHPA would make this claim – it’s simply wrong.  PSA is proud to represent all sectors of the profession in delivering such high quality advice.”

As the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA has asked all pharmacy groups to focus firstly on the healthcare needs of Australians and then to work together to positively progress ways to optimise the contribution of pharmacists the profession in the health system to deliver high quality, evidence-based care that is appropriately remunerated.

Today’s health system needs a workforce that is capable of working across multiple settings to deliver care wherever it is needed by the consumer.

PSA is committed to supporting pharmacists throughout their career through the development and implementation of standards, guidelines, high-quality education, training and practice support.

Review an opportunity to sustain long-term future for pharmacists

The Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation presents a long-term opportunity to explore innovative ways pharmacists can contribute to Australia’s health system and optimise healthcare into the future, according to the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Releasing its comprehensive, evidence-based submission today in response to the Review’s Discussion Paper, PSA urged the Government to invest in primary health care services that make best use of the available pharmacy workforce and provide cost-effective, collaborative care solutions to meet local health needs.

PSA’s submission involved consultation with members and stakeholders and provided a response to all questions posed in the Discussion Paper.  PSA’s response is wholly framed within the scope of practice of all registered pharmacists – and informed by local and international evidence.

PSA National President Joe Demarte said the Review was a critical opportunity for shaping the future direction of pharmacy practice in Australia, especially community pharmacy.

“PSA is committed to ensuring a viable and robust community pharmacy network.  We also acknowledge the Review Panel’s statements that the recommendations should be consumer-focused and directed towards achieving the objectives of the National Medicines Policy,” Mr Demarte said.

“For these objectives to be realised, Australia needs a community pharmacy network and workforce that is sustainable into the future.

“As a learning profession committed to evidence-based models of care, there are many opportunities to consider innovative ways for pharmacists to enhance service delivery through quality use of medicines.

“That’s why we’re confident that through this Review, the Government will be aware of the full scope of practice and evidence for pharmacists’ expertise and recognise that as a workforce, Australian pharmacists are underutilised.”

Mr Demarte also highlighted up to 60 per cent of Australia’s pharmacists were early-career pharmacists (ECP), representing the highest proportion of community pharmacy employees and the lowest proportion of pharmacy owners.

“Regardless of their roles, ECPs are the group who stand to be impacted most by any reforms and their long-term future is vital to the profession,” Mr Demarte said.

Following PSA’s call for feedback on the Review consultation, pharmacists raised a number of concerning issues, including:

  • The impact of discounting on pharmacy business viability
  • Pharmacist remuneration levels and future career prospects.

“Through the consultation process, many pharmacists are seeking opportunities to innovate, further develop and diversify their practice, including access to community pharmacy ownership,” Mr Demarte said.

Some of PSA’s key recommendations and positions include:

  • Discretionary discounting by pharmacies, whether independently or through the Government’s $1 discount measure, undermines the universality of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and actively works against the objectives of the NMP.
  • Cost or social circumstances should not be a barrier for consumers to access health services provided by pharmacists. PSA believes that evidence-based, cost-effective community pharmacy services which meet consumer needs should be appropriately supported by the Government.
  • Pharmacist services remunerated by Government should allow for flexibility in terms of service setting to most appropriately meet consumers’ needs.
  • A more appropriate payment model for pharmacist services is one that recognises and remunerates pharmacists based on the complexity of the presenting consumer’s situation and/or services provided.
  • All community pharmacies should aim to meet the heath care needs of their local community through the provision of quality services and advice.  PSA does not believe a “one size fits all” approach is appropriate to determine appropriate service provision or pharmacy trading hours.
  • PSA urges the Panel to carefully consider international evidence on the unintended effects of loosening community pharmacy regulations (including location rules, ownership and the State and Territory legislative restrictions on the co-location of pharmacies and supermarkets).

Mr Demarte said PSA looked forward to working with the Government to assist in ensuring pharmacists’ role within Australia’s health system can be optimised.

“Ultimately, all Australians should have timely access to the medicines and related health services that they need at a cost individuals and the community can afford.  PSA is committed to working with the Review panel, Government and the broader pharmacy sector to achieve this goal.”

To read PSA’s full submission to the Review, click here>>

PSA innovator wins Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award

The innovative and pioneering achievements of leading pharmacist Dr Alison Roberts – including on the world-class Health Destination Pharmacy program – have been applauded by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) tonight (September 28).

Dr Roberts – PSA’s Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Innovation – last night won the prestigious 2016 Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award from the University of Technology Sydney.

The UTS Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award recognises an individual who embraces current challenges with intellectual rigour and curiosity to create solutions for industry, the pharmacy profession or the community.

PSA CEO Dr Lance Emerson congratulated Dr Roberts on winning the high-profile Award, saying she has been a passionate, inspirational and forward-thinking leader at the forefront of innovation and change management for pharmacy over many years.

“I applaud Dr Roberts on her enthusiastic and outstanding service to the sector and her forward-thinking and innovative spirit to help improve the health of Australians, making her a worthy recipient of this Award,” Dr Emerson said.

“Dr Roberts has been instrumental in leading innovation for the profession, especially through the Health Destination program – which won the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s (FIP) inaugural Pharmacy Practice Improvement Programme Award in Argentina last month.

“Alison’s expert leadership of Health Destination – and many other PSA initiatives – is a testament to her skills, dedication and ability to influence others to benefit the entire health sector.”

In accepting the prize, Dr Roberts said she was humbled to receive the Award following her extensive career in pharmacy, research and representing the profession.

“It’s a wonderful honour to be recognised for your hard work however this Award is really about the team of people and colleagues who have supported me over many years – I couldn’t have achieved this success without the help of these dedicated and passionate people,” Dr Roberts said.

“I also thank PSA’s leadership and Board and the Health Destination team – who have been outstanding in ensuring we have an Australian-made pharmacy change program that has now been recognised internationally as truly world-leading.  I also thank UTS for its fantastic support of pharmacists and innovation.”

The Health Destination program is now in more than 25 pharmacies across Australia, empowering pharmacists to provide tailored, high-quality consumer healthcare in their local communities.  Pharmacies that started the program last year are already outperforming industry average on key metrics by more than three times.

Along with her PSA role, Dr Roberts also hold positions on the Boards of South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network, the Parenting Research Centre and the Raising Children Network.

For her UTS prize, Dr Roberts received a medal and $5000 towards further professional development and the opportunity to share innovation with the rest of the profession.

Celebrating healthcare benefits and diversity of pharmacists

Progressing future healthcare roles and contributions of pharmacists in local communities is being applauded today for World Pharmacists Day, the peak national organisation for pharmacists the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said.

The annual World Pharmacists Day is being celebrated worldwide with this year’s theme ‘Pharmacists: Caring for you’.

As the most accessible healthcare professionals, Australia’s 29,000 pharmacists – who work in a range of healthcare areas – are highly-trained health professionals in communities who help to improve overall health outcomes for consumers.

PSA’s Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) National Director Taren Gill said World Pharmacists Day was also an opportunity to recognise the next generation of pharmacists who will provide innovative healthcare solutions into the future.

“PSA has been strongly advocating for expanding innovative models of evidence-based, interprofessional healthcare within pharmacists’ scope of practice to better utilise the role of pharmacists to improve health outcomes for patients,” Ms Gill said.

“As an ECP leader, I am proud to be helping the profession address these challenges and achieve reforms to help ease the burden on Australia’s health system.”

Ms Gill – who became PSA’s first ECP Director in June this year – said the future leaders of pharmacy were committed to long-term healthcare outcomes.

“As Early Career Pharmacists, we all have one thing in common, we chose pharmacy and it’s a privilege,” Ms Gill said.

“We look forward to long rewarding careers serving our local communities in the delivery of excellence in pharmacist care – which is also PSA’s vision.”

Ms Gill said Australian pharmacists should also be celebrated for their diversity.

“We bring a variety of skills to healthcare: we work in pharmacies, we are pharmacy owners, we work in hospitals, in research, in GP surgeries and in industry.

“One thing that binds us is our commitment to improving consumers’ health and excellence in pharmacist care”.


Pharmacy students learn to immunise in Victorian-first

Pharmacy students from La Trobe University in Bendigo will be the first in Victoria – and among only a few in the country – to learn how to immunise patients through a new partnership with the peak national organisation for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Under the new partnership, the vaccination training program is being offered in response to the Victorian Government’s recent legislative change, enabling registered pharmacists to immunise.

Regulations in Victoria allow pharmacists to administer influenza and pertussis-containing vaccines to adults at approved pharmacies, including those who qualify for the National Immunisation Program.

The training program includes lectures, online modules and a hands-on workshop for fourth year students who learn how to administer immunisations for two of the most common preventable diseases – influenza and whooping cough.

La Trobe University lecturer in clinical pharmacy Richard Summers said the program was designed to upskill pharmacy graduates, giving them greater flexibility for when they complete their degrees.

“Immunising within the pharmacy setting makes sense for many reasons and importantly it has been shown to enhance vaccination rates in the community,” Mr Summers said. “If our students have the confidence and skills to immunise when they graduate, it will make their transition to the workplace that much easier.”

“Pharmacist-delivered immunisations will soon be commonplace, and when that happens, our alumni will be ready to embrace it,” Mr Summers said.

PSA Executive Director, Practice Support and Education Jan Ridd welcomed the support of La Trobe University to ensure future pharmacists are skilled in this new area of pharmacist practice.

“PSA is delighted to partner with La Trobe University to support the profession by providing access to nationally accredited immunisation training for their students,” Ms Ridd said.

“Over the past 12 months, PSA has trained more than 2300 pharmacists around the country, according to the latest statistics, to enable pharmacists to deliver high-quality immunisation services and to provide a major public health boost in local communities.”

Ms Ridd said PSA looked forward to working with other leading Australian universities to deliver PSA’s world-class immunisation training program to students to ensure all pharmacists are ready to provide this essential public health service.

On a national level, pharmacist-delivered vaccinations are now approved in SA, Queensland, Victoria, ACT, NSW, WA and Tasmania. The Northern Territory is still finalising regulations to deliver pharmacist immunisations, which are currently occurring through a pilot program.

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