1. Aboriginal health service pharmacist SIG launched
July 31, 2017
In recognition of the growing number of pharmacists working in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched the ACCHO Special Interest Group (SIG).
The ACCHO SIG was launched on Sunday 30 July at PSA17 in Sydney during the Aboriginal Health Service Pharmacist forum.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said pharmacists working in ACCHOs have specific needs and skills and having a Special Interest Group with the primary role of supporting them will assist PSA to drive the growth of this career path.
“In many cases pharmacists working in these positions are providing innovative and diverse services that have the potential to be informative and relevant to the evolution of pharmacy services and inter-professional care.
“Consultation with these pharmacists and services about their needs is vital to ensure PSA and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) deliver relevant and meaningful benefits to PSA members and the wider pharmacy and health sectors,” Dr Jackson said.
A key role of the National ACCHO SIG Committee will be to provide up-to-date information to NACCHO and PSA on relevant issues that relate to both organisations. This will include input on improvements to PSA’s professional development and practice support programs that benefit ACCHO pharmacists. The SIG will also provide NACCHO with input on pharmacy-related trends and practices that affect ACCHOs.
It is a joint committee to be run by PSA and NACCHO to foster collaboration, inform relevant policy and strengthen the relationships between these organisations with a shared commitment to embedding pharmacists in ACCHOs nationally.
PSA also welcomed the announcement of a trial to support Aboriginal health organisations to integrate pharmacists into their services. The ACCHO SIG will support pharmacists participating in this trial.
Dr Jackson said having a culturally responsive pharmacist integrated within an Aboriginal health service builds better relationships between patients and staff, leading to improved results in chronic disease management and Quality Use of Medicines.
2. Joint PSA-CPA Sydney Communiqué
July 30, 2017
A conference hosted jointly by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) was held in Sydney, Australia from 28 to 30 July 2017. Over 1,200 pharmacists from the Commonwealth and other countries met to discuss a range of professional issues relating to current and future roles of pharmacists.
Following the theme of the conference, Leading Pharmacy Innovation, delegates heard local and international speakers share their experience and insights about evolving pharmacist practice and how the profession must plan strategically for the future.
CPA and PSA are strongly committed to ensuring pharmacists in all countries are registered to acceptable standards and are accountable in professional practice, in the interests of the public. We also recognise the need to have career and professional development frameworks in place to support the development of pharmacists to maximise their contribution to patient care.
Pharmacists are skilled and highly trained health professionals with a broad range of medicines and medication management-related expertise and experience.
Global action in combating the spread of antimicrobial resistance continues to be a core focus for all pharmacists throughout the Commonwealth. CPA and PSA are committed to promoting and enhancing the important role of pharmacists.
The overuse and misuse of codeine-containing medicines, other opiates and drugs of dependence are recognised as an increasing worldwide health problem. Pharmacists have a vital role in helping to minimise harm and facilitating appropriate care. Conference delegates also learnt about new arrangements currently being trialled in Australia regarding the medicinal use of cannabis.
Pharmacists around the world are continuing to demonstrate their contribution to better health through the delivery of innovative and evidence-based professional services, for the benefit of patients.
Pharmacists’ skills and training
- Pharmacists should continue to have solid foundation training in pharmaceutical sciences and patient-centred care.
- Action should be taken to promote education about antimicrobial resistance and infection to healthcare professionals and the wider community, including the involvement of pharmacists in antimicrobial stewardship training.
- Governments should be lobbied to establish national strategies, including community-based stewardship of antimicrobial resistance programmes, and enhanced regulation of medicines to invest in surveillance and research.
- Active preservation of existing antibiotics should be supported through appropriate prescribing, pharmacists’ supply and optimisation of use.
- Research and development of new antibiotics should be encouraged both nationally and internationally.
- Appropriate regulatory control of veterinary medicines should be in place, especially with regard to the use of antibiotics and steroids for food-producing animals.
Regulation for safety and optimal use of medicines
- People throughout the Commonwealth should have uniform and equitable access to trained pharmacists to help optimise their medicines across all healthcare sectors.
- In order to ensure the best possible public health, medication safety and delivery of optimal pharmaceutical care, all pharmacies must have an appropriately trained pharmacist present at all times to provide direct oversight and professional input and advice.
- Medication-related adverse events contribute to significant unnecessary costs to the health system and negative health outcomes to individuals, and pharmacists must have a key role in advising on maximising the benefits of medicines use and preventing or minimising medication-related harm.
- Pharmacists have expertise on medicines and medication management and therefore must have a role in the regulation of medicines. Pharmacists in the Commonwealth must be involved in the development of or revision of regulations relating to the availability and utilisation of medicines, including lobbying government bodies.
Counterfeit or falsification of medicines
- The existence of counterfeit medicines (or falsification of medicines) is a global problem that impacts on the reliability and confidence in the regulation and safety of medicines and compromises people’s health.
- Pharmacists must be involved in policy making and regulatory functions in the Commonwealth to help prevent activities regarding the falsification of medicines.
Supporting appropriate use of opiates and other drugs of dependence
- PSA and CPA strongly support the implementation of a national real time monitoring system to assist prescribers and pharmacists to identify patients who are at risk of harm due to dependence, misuse or abuse of medicines within their respective countries.
- Such a system should have the capacity to include, not just prescription medicines, but all medicines with potential for harm through misuse or dependence.
- In addition to monitoring for quality use of high-risk medicines, pharmacists have a vital role in facilitating appropriate referral and continuity of care for those requiring addiction care.
Managing global security threats
- Appropriate regulatory arrangements and pharmacist input is essential in order to minimise the potential for negative health outcomes.
- Arrangements should be made for pharmacist input into providing suitable medicines support for refugees and other displaced people within the Commonwealth.
- CPA and PSA will progress work to update its respective positions on health care for refugees and asylum seekers.
- CPA and PSA will work towards giving support to providing standards for disaster management.
Appropriate support to provide pharmacist-delivered professional services
- Appropriately trained pharmacists are delivering vaccination services in Australia, and in other countries. It was shown that pharmacists are able to provide these services especially in medically underserviced areas.
- Arrangements should be made to support pharmacist vaccination services as part of the increased development of expanded pharmacist roles.
Policy plans for the future of pharmacists
- Pharmacists should contribute to the planning, development and implementation of innovative health services which would be tailored to the specific needs of patients or patient groups in their countries.
- Pharmacists globally must be prepared for and trained in optimising medicine management especially in the area of non-communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance.
- PSA and CPA firmly recognise that culturally responsive services tailored for vulnerable population groups are needed to ensure equitable and accessible high quality health care services in all countries around the Commonwealth.
- CPA and PSA jointly advocate a greater investment in the development of greater service provision by pharmacists in their countries. Such plans must involve meaningful consultation with all stakeholders in their countries to take into account views of patients and carers, policy makers, government, pharmacists and other health professionals.
3. New vision for Early Career Pharmacists launched at PSA17
July 30, 2017
A new vision for the future for Early Career Pharmacists (ECPs) in Australia was launched today at the flagship conference PSA17 hosted by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
Following national consultation among ECPs and pharmacy leaders, the landmark Early Career Pharmacist White Paper was officially launched at a dedicated ECP panel session.
The first of its kind in Australia, the White Paper makes recommendations for ensuring a practical and sustainable long-term plan for ECPs to have satisfying and rewarding careers while contributing to Australia’s healthcare system.
PSA ECP National Board Director Taren Gill said the White Paper provided a unique opportunity for ECPs, interns and students to be part of this vision for the future.
“It was a special moment when we launched this White Paper, especially as it’s been written by ECPs for ECPs,” Ms Gill said. “At the start of my ECP National Board Director appointment, I posed the question at PSA16 – what does success look like for an ECP? I’m delighted to say that since then, a robust and successful consultation with ECPs working in all sectors of pharmacy has occurred.”
The White Paper sets out 10 key recommendations for the pharmacy profession as a whole:
- Take decisive action to ensure a robust and sustainable community pharmacy sector.
- Negotiate to raise the Pharmacy Industry Award rates.
- Advocate for, and pursue alternative remuneration models for pharmacy services.
- Identify and propose new roles and models of practice for pharmacists – with supported pathways to enable progression in these areas.
- Work with researchers, policy makers and practitioners to ensure that evidence is translated to the delivery of evidence-based services by frontline pharmacists.
- Ensure productive collaboration between pharmacy organisations to shape the profession
in a positive way.
- Engage with consumers and other health professionals through an awareness campaign which promotes the full extent of a pharmacist’s scope, skill and expertise.
- Recognise all practising pharmacists as clinical pharmacists, regardless of practice setting.
- Explore the development and recognition of specialties within pharmacy practice.
- Develop Quality Indicators for individual pharmacist practice.
PSA National President Shane Jackson said: “The ECP White Paper will provide an exciting, member-driven pathway forward with key recommendations for the profession to ensure ECPs all have a satisfying and bright future. PSA’s National Board has considered the White Paper and is already acting on a number of its recommendations. PSA’s ECP leaders should be applauded for their hard work on developing this historic paper.”
4. Rural pharmacists have a new forum
July 30, 2017
Rural pharmacists have been given increased engagement in a new forum by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
At the Rural Pharmacist Special Interest Group (Rural SIG) forum at PSA17 in Sydney, PSA launched a Facebook page specifically for rural-based PSA members.
Speaking at the launch, PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said many PSA members living in rural and remote areas often do not have the means to interact as easily with their peers and PSA as pharmacists in urban areas.
“This Facebook page offers a platform for rural pharmacists to discuss and share innovative rural practice ideas and provides an opportunity to promote vacant positions and career opportunities.
“I urge rurally-based pharmacists to ‘like’ the Rural SIG FB page and help us advocate for rural practice by using it to provide feedback and keep the discussion on rural pharmacy issues alive.
“It will provide a direct channel for increased engagement by rural pharmacists with PSA and a networking opportunity for rurally-based pharmacists to pass on information, seek advice from their peers and share experiences,” Dr Jackson said.
PSA Rural SIG Coordinator Mark Kirschenbaum said: “Rural pharmacy issues are often under-represented in the debate around health funding and support. PSA’s commitment to strengthening the Rural Pharmacists Special Interest Group is welcome and with PSA members’ support, will provide a voice to advocate for better pharmacy services for rural Australians.”
The Rural SIG is open to all PSA members. To get further information about the Rural SIG contact email@example.com
5. Jessica Bailey wins 2017 Pharmacy Student of the Year Award
July 29, 2017
Victorian pharmacist Jessica Bailey won the 2017 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Pharmacy Student of the Year (PSOTY) Award at the PSA17 gala dinner in Sydney tonight.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson congratulated Jessica on her exceptional achievement.He also praised the achievements of Jessica Joseph from New South Wales, who won the PSOTY People’s Choice Award for 2017.
“The PSOTY Award recognises pharmacy students’ clinical knowledge, commitment to the profession and communication skills,” Dr Jackson said.
“Presented with a challenging counselling session, the students in this year’s competition demonstrated exceptional communication skills and clinical knowledge.
“I am delighted to see the talent of these young pharmacists who are set to become future leaders of the profession.”
Dr Jackson said the judges were impressed by the strong field of impressive candidates: “They engaged with their patient in a professional and supportive manner that in a real-word situation would lead to positive health outcomes.
The eight State, Territory and wildcard finalists for 2017 were:
- Jessica Goyne, University of Canberra (ACT)
- Jessica Thomson, University of South Australia (SA/NT)
- Diana Maza, University of Tasmania (Tasmania)
- Jessica Bailey, Monash University (Victoria)
- James Buckley, James Cook University (Queensland)
- Ella Scacchia, University of Western Australia (WA)
- Jessica Joseph, University of Technology Sydney (NSW)
- NAPSA Wildcard – Tessa Drew, Curtin University (WA)
This year’s competition was jointly sponsored by API and Mylan.
API Head of Strategic Development Andrew Rewell said: “API congratulates Jessica on winning PSOTY 2017. Jessica’s exceptional clinical and communication skills will ensure her a great future within the profession of pharmacy.”
Mylan Head of Strategic Business Gary McCaw said: “Mylan would like to congratulate Jessica on her outstanding achievement, along with the other finalists, who displayed impressive dedication and professional knowledge.”
“PSA thanks both our key partners API and Mylan for their outstanding support,” Dr Jackson said.
6. Joint winners for PSA MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year
July 29, 2017
Two talented intern pharmacists have been announced as joint national winners of the PSA MIMS Intern Pharmacist of the Year Award by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
Presented at PSA17 today, the Award recognises intern pharmacists who demonstrate outstanding performance in their development as professional pharmacists, acting as role models amongst Early Career Pharmacists.
Ms Glazier is completing her internship at Gerald Burns Pharmacy in Perth WA and Ms Khiani completed her internship at Capital Chemist Charnwood in the ACT.
The other finalists were:
- Veronica Moss, Queensland
- Laura Perry, Tasmania
- Robert Scarso, Victoria
- Sankit Lalseta, SA/NT
Ms Glazier, a young mother, has been completing her internship part time. She has been described as an extraordinary intern with a thirst for knowledge and evidence, innovative ideas and progressive leadership. She delivers professional services and ongoing monitoring, including stroke risk assessments, blood pressure monitoring and blood glucose testing (and standardising testing machines).
Ms Khiani asked questions from day one of her internship and from there offered suggestions on new ways to do things, new ideas for health promotions and improvements to health service delivery. She championed two professional services – smoking cessation and sleep apnoea. With all her activities Ms Khiani documented every interaction with patients enrolled in services, which allowed easy transition of care between pharmacists.
MIMS Business Development Director Dinah Graham said, “All the State finalists were outstanding and came from a broad cross section of pharmacy practice. Each year MIMS has sponsored this Award the calibre of applicants has improved.
“I spoke to some of the interns at the State Awards this year and their excitement was palpable; to be able to recognise their outstanding contributions and provide the reward for that gives the entire MIMS Australia team great pleasure,” Ms Graham said.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson congratulated Ms Glazier and Ms Khiani on their achievements and dedication to the profession.
“All of the finalists have shown incredible skill, confidence and initiative. I will watch the progress of their careers with great interest,” Dr Jackson said.
MIMS Australia is the leading sponsor of the Award and contributed the major prize of $4,000 for the national winner to put towards attending any pharmacy or educational conference approved by PSA.
MIMS Australia has been publishing medicines information since 1963 and is the leading supplier of trusted, quality, independent medicine information to Australian healthcare professionals, known for its high level of editorial integrity and independence.
7. Health Minister asks pharmacists to help Close the Gap
July 28, 2017
Joint media release
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) have welcomed the announcement of a trial to support Aboriginal health organisations to integrate pharmacists into their services.
The trial was announced today by the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt at PSA17, PSA’s national conference.
Both PSA and NACCHO thank the Minister for supporting this innovative project that will improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This practical new trial measure has strong stakeholder support and there is growing evidence pharmacists employed by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) can assist to increase the life expectancy and improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.
PSA and NACCHO celebrate the Federal Government’s initiative to implement these important reforms and to further investigate the development of new funding models to help close the gap between the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
NACCHO CEO Pat Turner said disparities in the health between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians are confronting.
“For too long Aboriginal people have suffered shorter lifespans, been sicker and poorer than the average non-Indigenous Australian, however, highly trained pharmacists have a proven track record in delivering improved health outcomes when integrated into multidisciplinary practices,” Ms Turner said.
“Strong international evidence supports pharmacists’ ability to improve a number of critical health outcomes, including significant reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol and improved diabetes control. A number of studies have also supported pharmacists’ cost-effectiveness.
“Some ACCHOs have already shown leadership in the early adoption of pharmacists outside of any national programs or support structures. NACCHO and PSA are committed to supporting ACCHOs across Australia to meet the medicines needs in their communities by enhancing support for those wishing to embed a pharmacist into their service.”
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said having a culturally responsive pharmacist integrated within an Aboriginal Health Service (AHS) builds better relationships between patients and staff, leading to improved results in chronic disease management and Quality Use of Medicines.
“Integrating a non-dispensing pharmacist in an AHS has the potential to improve medication adherence, reduce chronic disease, reduce medication misadventure and decrease preventable medication-related hospital admissions to deliver significant savings to the health system,” Dr Jackson said.
“Additionally, pharmacists integrated within an AHS have a key role to play in assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients navigate Australia’s complex health system.”
“Local community pharmacies will be first approached to see if they are able to provide a pharmacist to work within the AHS according to service requirements of the AHS. If they are unable to or this is not accepted by the AHS in line with principles of self-determination, then the AHS may employ a pharmacist directly.”
A range of stakeholders, including the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, will be on the advisory group.
This trial has been funded through the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement Pharmacy Trial Program. PSA and NACCHO wish to credit the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for supporting such an important initiative. This trial aims to improve equity of access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and further demonstrate the fundamental role that community pharmacists play in primary health care, strengthening the future for all pharmacists and contributing to a sustainable health system.
8. 2017 Excellence Awards winners announced
July 28, 2017
Three outstanding pharmacists have been honoured for their remarkable achievements as part of the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) 2017 Excellence Awards – the premier Awards for pharmacists in Australia.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said it was a pleasure to announce the winners of the 2017 Excellence Awards, which recognised pharmacists who have maintained the highest standards of commitment and professionalism in pharmacy.
“The Awards applaud individuals at the apex of our profession’s achievements, focusing on pharmacists involved in innovative practice, raising practice standards, and providing a model of practice for others to emulate,” Mr Jackson said.
The 2017 Excellence Award winners are:
- Pharmacist of the Year – Irvine Newton OAM, from Victoria
- Early Career Pharmacist of the Year – Elise Apolloni, from ACT
- Lifetime Achievement Award – John Bell AM, from NSW.
The Pharmacist of the Year, Early Career Pharmacist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award winners each receive a Symbion Education Grant valued at $9,000. The grants are possible thanks to the long-standing commitment of Symbion supporting the Awards.
Symbion Executive General Manager Pharmacy Brett Barons said the PSA Excellence Awards provide much deserved recognition of pharmacists that make this innovative profession great.
“On behalf of everyone at Symbion, we extend our congratulations to this year’s winners and thank them for their dedication and for inspiring us all to strive for excellence,” Mr Barons said.
Mr Barons said Symbion has been delighted to sponsor the prestigious Awards over the past 13 years.
“As a proud sponsor for well over a decade, we are delighted to be supporting their ongoing education and efforts to provide an exceptional level of care to the community,” Mr Barons said.
9. Review must not miss opportunity to sustain long-term future for pharmacists
July 26, 2017
The Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation presents an opportunity to explore innovative and sustainable 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 submission today in response to the Review’s Interim Report, PSA urged the Review Panel to use its final report to recognise that the levers used at a national health policy and regulatory level have a direct impact on business models in the pharmacy sector.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said clinical services delivered by pharmacists, especially dispensing, need to be seen through a health lens and not an economic lens.
“Dispensing is a core clinical activity performed by the majority of pharmacists across the country. We need to build on this core role, and expand on the services available for community pharmacists to help their patients,” Dr Jackson said.
“The Review provides an opportunity to consider fundamental change to the way pharmacists utilise their skills, training and expertise to improve the use of medicines in primary care. We must grasp this opportunity to do things better.
“Unfortunately, the Review does not provide options that will see long-term, sustainable reform and development of the community pharmacy sector. It does offer the opportunity for Government to take up the call for profession-led development of a spectrum of pharmacist activities that recognise and appropriately remunerate the clinical input of pharmacists and the value they add to the health system,” Dr Jackson said.
“Healthcare is changing and we can no longer see pharmacist services delivered in primary care as being only available through a community pharmacy,” Dr Jackson said.
“This stifles innovation within our profession, and more importantly, consumer access and Quality Use of Medicines. Similarly, limiting funding of pharmacist services in the community to the PBS budget only contributes to Australia’s pharmacists being underutilised across the broader health system.”
PSA’s response to the Review’s Interim Report is delivered with full understanding of the complexities and consequences of these issues in the pharmacy profession. The submission involved consultation with members and stakeholders and provided a response to all options presented in the Interim Report. PSA’s response is wholly framed within the scope of practice of all registered pharmacists – and informed by local and international evidence.
PSA submitted the following response to the specific options presented by the Review Panel in the Interim Report:
- Involving PSA in Community Pharmacy Agreement governance, planning and implementation will improve the ability of Government to achieve the objectives of the National Medicines Policy.
- Professional programs offered by community pharmacies need to be considered in the context of consumer health needs and the evolving way in which people are accessing care. Pharmacist services remunerated by Government should allow for flexibility in terms of service setting to most appropriately meet consumers’ needs.
- Discretionary discounting by pharmacies undermines the universality of the PBS and actively works against the objectives of the National Medicines Policy.
- Any changes to the remuneration for dispensing should be modelled and considered extensively prior to adoption and implementation as they may have significant unintended consequences, potentially compromising the viability of the pharmacy sector.
- The Panel’s use of economic principles to support the reasoning for changes to the way pharmacists are remunerated for dispensing is flawed and inappropriate, as medicines and health services requiring the cognitive input of clinicians are not ordinary items of commerce and hence are not comparable to commodities such as gas or electricity.
- A more appropriate payment model for pharmacist services is one which recognises and remunerates pharmacists based on the complexity of the presenting consumer’s situation and/or services provided.
- Developing specific quality indicators for pharmacist practice and auditing against these is in the long-term interest of meeting the objectives of the National Medicines Policy.
Dr Jackson said PSA looked forward to working with the Review Panel, the Government and the broader pharmacy sector 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 they need at a cost individuals and the community can afford. PSA is committed to this goal.”