March 26, 2015
Gunnedah intern wins NSW Intern of the Year award
Gunnedah intern Laura Norman has been announced as the PSA MIMS Australia NSW Intern of the Year for 2014.
The prestigious award celebrates the achievements of exceptional interns in developing skills for their professional career. These prospective pharmacists are recognised as striving to raise standards and to provide a future model for the practice of pharmacy.
Presenting the award NSW PSA Branch President Dr Stephen Carter said Ms Norman had completed her intern year at Karen Carter Chemist, Gunnedah, where she displayed a genuine commitment to excellence in pharmacy practice and clinical knowledge above and beyond the average intern.
“This means that Laura has the capacity to educate and interact confidently with customers, pharmacy staff and other healthcare professionals,” he said.
“Being a rural intern, Laura demonstrates outstanding involvement in the health and wellbeing of her community. She has improved the health outcomes of many patients through various training and educational roles, campaigns and studies and has volunteered in local community events in the name of pharmacy.”
Ms Norman, a graduate from the University of New England, has completed the Mental Health First Aid Course, is trained in sleep apnoea equipment and is keen to complete her stage two in medication reviews.
Dinah Graham from MIMS Australia said Ms Norman was also trained in sleep apnoea equipment and used this knowledge to educate patients and staff in aged care facilities.
“Through Laura’s efforts in a COPD screening campaign, 50 patients were recruited in a four-week period with 10 resulting in doctor referrals,” Ms Graham said.
“A similar educational project was run for insulin devices. Laura has been involved in the recruitment of customers in studies such as ‘Patients attitudes and Preferences towards Insomnia Treatments’ run by the University of Sydney as well as services such as Health Literacy Australia Campaign in which 60 individuals were recruited.
“In addition, Laura received a certificate of recognition for her assistance with the Agriculture Field Day ‘Agquip’ Health Check tent and gave a talk to local students at the Gunnedah High School about becoming a pharmacist.”
MIMS is the sponsor of this award and contributes the major prize of $2,000 to each State winner to be used to advance their pharmacy career. At PSA15, the MIMS PSA Intern of the Year Award, who will be chosen from the State finalists, will be announced. The award will go to the State winner deemed to have created the most significant innovation during the year.
MIMS is the leading supplier of trusted, quality, independent medicine information to Australian healthcare professionals, known for its high level of editorial integrity and independence. MIMS Australia has been publishing medicines information since for 50 years and have a keen interest in the development of the profession of pharmacy.
March 25, 2015
PSA position paper on OTC analgesics containing codeine
The Pharmaceutical of Australia has released a position paper recognising the growing use of OTC analgesics containing codeine in the community, and expressing concern with the rising levels of harm associated with their inappropriate use.
The paper, Minimising harm from the inappropriate use of over the counter analgesics, stresses that PSA is committed to supporting pharmacists to provide solutions to consumers seeking to manage pain and addiction issues.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said PSA supported consumers continuing to have access to OTC analgesics with the advice of a pharmacist, as pharmacists were well equipped to assist consumers with appropriate pain management options in accordance with Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) principles.
“PSA calls for the implementation of a national real-time recording and reporting system. Regardless of jurisdictional requirements, PSA supports best practice and encourages pharmacists to record all sales of Pharmacist Only medicines in the pharmacy’s dispensing system,” he said.
“PSA continues to strongly promote QUM and responsible self-medication. PSA supports this advocacy with continuing professional development and practice support resources to inform pharmacists’ skills in pain management and addiction care.”
Mr Kardachi said these principles applied equally to all drugs with a potential for addiction, whether prescribed by a doctor, or accessed from a pharmacist.
PSA has developed an extensive range of practice support resources including the following:
- Existing Pain Management Pharmacy Support Resource on PSA’s website at http://www.psa.org.au/pharmacy-support/pain-management-pharmacy-support-resource
- Professional guidelines for the supply of codeine-containing analgesics (revised for APF23)
- The March edition InPHARMation, available to Self Care subscribers
- A Webinar on pain being held this month
- A pain article in April’s Australian Pharmacist
- Resources for pharmacists to use with consumers
In addition, a leaflet alerting consumers to the dangers of inappropriate use of combination codeine pain relievers titled Using codeine pain relievers safely, will be made available shortly.
March 25, 2015
PSA and Aspen Pharmacare Australia announce new awards to recognise innovation in pharmacy practice
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Aspen Pharmacare Australia have announced new awards to recognise and celebrate innovation in pharmacy through sustainable business practices.
The Aspen Pharmacare Australia and PSA Innovation Grants seek to identify and pursue innovative ways to improve customer satisfaction and engagement, business profitability and sales growth in all areas of pharmacy practice.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the awards sought examples of innovation that increased pharmacist-customer engagement, targeted customers with health promotions and professional services, and increased collaboration with other health professionals.
“They also seek to identify innovation in increasing consumer health outcomes and pharmacy business through the use of S2 and S3 products, and in maintaining and growing pharmacy dispensary through sustainable business practices,” Mr Kardachi said.
“Aspen Pharmacare Australia and PSA share a common belief that the landscape of Australian retail pharmacy is continuing to change and in the highly competitive retail pharmacy market businesses can no longer run as they did in the past, relying on supply alone.
“The Aspen Pharmacare Australia and PSA Innovation Grants share the goal to see pharmacies transform into health service destinations.
“Economic and environmental factors show this is a timely strategy for moving community pharmacy from a focus on throughput of prescriptions and discounting to a consumer-focussed model centred on health and quality services.
Cathie Hilton, Deputy Head of Prescription Business at Aspen Pharmacare Australia said in this changing environment pharmacy is adapting by implementing innovative changes and approaches throughout their dispensary, OTC and front of shop.
This change, while delivering better customer health solutions at the same time, needs to continue to deliver profitable margins to sustain and achieve business growth.
“This project between Aspen Pharmacare Australia and PSA challenges the profession to identify and seek new and innovative ways in which pharmacy can achieve customer satisfaction, business profitability and growth in all areas of the pharmacy including dispensary, OTC, front of shop,” she said.
The six recipients of the Innovation Grants will each receive $2000 towards travel, accommodation and registration to attend the PSA15 Conference to showcase their innovation in a poster session.
Details of the Aspen Pharmacare Australia and PSA Innovation Grants can be found at www.psa.org.au/awards/innovation .
March 24, 2015
PSA provides pharmacies with consumer information on safe use of non-prescription codeine
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, says the PSA has produced a leaflet as one of its resources developed in response to increasing reports about the damaging effects of overuse of readily available pain relievers containing codeine. The leaflet is a useful tool to assist pharmacists to discuss appropriate pain management solutions with consumers.
Medicines containing codeine are pharmacist-only medicines and this means pharmacists are required to meet legislative requirements as well as professional obligations in ensuring the supply of codeine-containing analgesics is safe and appropriate in each case.
The leaflet alerting consumers to the dangers of inappropriate use of combination codeine pain relievers has been developed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
The leaflet, titled Using codeine pain relievers safely, explains the possible adverse effects of the inappropriate use of over-the-counter analgesics containing codeine and gives consumers a checklist of signs of codeine dependence.
These signs include:
- Taking the pain-relievers on days when you don’t have any pain.
- Needing to take more than the recommended dose.
- Needing to take the pain relievers for longer than recommended on the pack.
- Suffering codeine withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking codeine (e.g. feeling restless or irritable, anxiety, yawning, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, sweating, goose bumps, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and disturbed sleep).
Non-prescription codeine products also contain paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin. Consumers are warned that taking paracetamol in higher-than-recommended doses can damage the liver, potentially fatally.
Taking ibuprofen or aspirin in higher‑than-recommended doses can cause gastro-intestinal system and kidney damage, and these also can be fatal. The packaging of non-prescription codeine containing medicines may also contain a new warning label reading: For 3 days use only, can cause addiction.
The codeine leaflets are available in pads of 100 and are being distributed to Self Care subscribers with this month’s edition of inPHARMation. It will also be distributed to pharmacy owner members of PSA.
Additional pads of leaflets are available for all pharmacists to purchase from the PSA Bookshop (http://www.psa.org.au/services/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=222&Itemid=7)
The leaflet is available for PSA members to download on the PSA website at http://www.psa.org.au/pharmacy-support/pain-management-pharmacy-support-resource
March 23 2015
Western Australian PSA-MIMS Intern of the Year award announced
Perth intern Monica Sajogo has been announced as the PSA MIMS Australia WA Intern of the Year for 2014.
The prestigious award celebrates the achievements of exceptional interns in developing skills for their professional career.
These prospective pharmacists are recognised as striving to raise standards and to provide a future model for the practice of pharmacy.
Presenting the award, WA PSA Branch Committee Member Professor Jeff Hughes said Ms Sajogo completed her intern year at King Edward Memorial Hospital, where she had displayed a genuine commitment to excellence in pharmacy practice and clinical knowledge above and beyond the average intern.
“During her internship Monica continually sought to improve pharmacy service delivery, through the creation of an electronic version of My Medicines list with the aim of enhancing the efficiency, quality and accuracy of medication history taking,” Professor Hughes said.
“Monica also played a significant role in the training of placement students and in leading the wards in reviewing and improving aspects of medications use. This included identifying the need for the improvement of cold chain management.
Monica also designed and presented training materials for the ward staff in order to encourage the utilisation of the medication management form, which provides a record of accountability in medication management.”
MIMS is the sponsor of this award and contributes the major prize of $2,000 to each State winner to be used to advance their pharmacy career.
At PSA15, the PSA MIMS Intern of the Year Award recipient will be announced, with the winner being chosen from the State finalists.
The award will go to the State winner deemed to have created the most significant innovation during the year.
MIMS is the leading supplier of trusted, quality, independent medicine information to Australian healthcare professionals, known for its high level of editorial integrity and independence.
MIMS Australia has been publishing medicines information since for 50 years and have a keen interest in the development of the profession of pharmacy.
March 23, 2015
WA PSA Excellence Awards recipients announced
The best of WA’s pharmacists were acknowledged at the Western Australian Pharmacists Award night in Perth yesterday.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia WA Branch President, Teresa Di Franco, said the event brought together the best and brightest of the profession in the state.
“The quality of candidates for the Excellence Awards was exceptional this year and judges remarked on just how difficult their task was,” Mrs Di Franco said.
“The three pharmacists who have been awarded this year displayed exceptional skills, commitment and innovative practices. They are a credit to the great profession of pharmacy and their work further helps to cement the reputation of pharmacists as leading healthcare professionals in this country.
The winners of the WA Excellence Awards were:
WA Young Pharmacist of the Year: Kenny Lee – for connecting WA Pharmacists through the WA Pharmacy Discussion Forum.
Mr Lee planned from the start the goals and focus of the WA Pharmacy Discussion Forum and undertook the necessary work to ensure this was a relevant and useful tool for pharmacy practitioners.
His goal was to keep pharmacists up to date, as he realised that to move forward as competent practitioners, pharmacists need the most up-to-date answers for the health consumer.
He also has a strong interest in laws and ethics with a focus on what would pharmacists need help with in what can be a challenging system.
WA Pharmacist of the Year: Bridgett McKay who has been a mentor to many pharmacists and gives her time on a range of committees.
Ms McKay has for many years been the WA secretary of the PDL Local Advisory Committee and her patience and non-judgmental attitude has provided much support and care to her colleagues.
She wears many pharmacy hats – her roles as a pharmacist at SCGH and Poisons Information Centre demonstrate her flexibility as a pharmacist to adapt to the many different jobs and situations she comes across.
She was the proprietor of perhaps Australia’s smallest pharmacy when she owned London Court Pharmacy.
WA Life Time Achievement Award: Dr Phillip Passmore PhD Msc Econs (Epidemiology and Health Planning) BSc Assoc, FPS, Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Pharmacy Curtin University of Technology.
Dr Passmore has worked tirelessly for over 30 years in the advancement of pharmacy, pharmaceutical services and quality use of medicines in South-East Asia, Africa and Australia.
Dr Passmore has been an advocate for the pharmacy profession and has passionately discussed the raison d’etre for the pharmacy profession is based upon the agreement that medicines are a unique, vital and strategic commodity for the prevention of illness and disease and the maintenance or restoration of health.