PSA Media Releases

June 18, 2015
PSA calls on Senators to pass Bill critical to implementation of Community Pharmacy Agreement

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) today urged the Senate not to delay the passage of the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill which is the key to implementation of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

The National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said that the Bill needed to be passed by 30 June to so that the 6CPA and its provisions could come into effect.

“PSA has concerns about the removal of some over-the-counter medicines from the PBS, changes to the safety net and the introduction of a $1 discretionary copayment discount,” Mr Kardachi said.

“However, on the whole we believe that it is imperative the Bill is passed through the Senate as quickly as possible.

“The profession and the Government can continue to work to address some of these concerns without delaying passage of the Bill.

“The benefits to consumers from implementation of the CPA, including access to pharmacist-delivered professional services, must not be withheld.”

Mr Kardachi said the Bill would put into place new arrangements for pharmacy funding and medicines pricing as well as bringing into effect a range of measures to ensure a sustainable PBS.

“In addition, following advocacy by the PSA, the Bill will enable the doubling of funding for pharmacist-delivered professional services,” Mr Kardachi said.

“These services demonstrably help to improve health outcomes while also reducing overall costs in the health system.

“PSA urges all Senators to act in the public interest and vote to pass this Bill.”


June 17, 2015
Joe Demarte elected National President of Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

The National Board of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia today elected Victorian pharmacist Joe Demarte as its new National President.

Mr Demarte takes over from Grant Kardachi who has served the full term allowed under the PSA Constitution. The Board also elected Michelle Lynch from Victoria and Jeff Hughes from Western Australia as Vice-Presidents.

Mr Demarte is an immediate past National Vice President of PSA, Chairman of the PSA Finance Audit and Risk Management Committee, Chairman PSA 6CPA Working Group and a member of the PSA Victorian Branch Committee

He is a past President of the Victorian Branch of PSA, a past PSA representative on the Victorian Pseudoephedrine Working Party and was the PSA representative National Working Group for Prevention of Diversion of Precursor Chemicals

Mr Demarte said he was greatly honoured at being elected National President of PSA.

“The profession is entering a transitional phase and I am excited to be able to lead it at this very important time,” Mr Demarte said

“There are some very big challenges facing the profession, but also some great opportunities.

“I am committed to helping PSA’s members grasp these opportunities and help build their professional careers while improving the health of all Australians.

“It will not always be an easy road as we move forward but the strength of our profession, and the commitment of those within it, will lay the foundations for the future.”

Mr Demarte paid tribute to Mr Kardachi who has served as National President for the past four years.

“Grant has helped shape the PSA for the future and has been instrumental in helping guide the profession to meet the evolving needs of today’s healthcare system,” he said.

“He has built the PSA into an organisation that is respected and is now widely recognised as the peak body for all pharmacists across the country.”

All PSA Branch Committees except the ACT and Tasmania have also finalised elections for Office Bearer positions. The ACT will conduct its elections on 5 August and the Tasmanian election process is underway. The results to date are:

ACT current (New elections to be held on 5 August)
Branch President Patrick Reid
Vice-President Bill Kelly
Vice-President Elise Apolloni
Board representative Greg Kyle
New South Wales
Branch President Stephen Carter
Vice-President Anna Barwick
Vice-President John Chapman
Board representative Warwick Plunkett, John Bronger
South Australia
Branch President Sue Edwards
Vice-President Robyn Johns
Vice-President Andrew Sluggett
Board representative Grant Kardachi
Tasmania (Election process underway)
Branch President Rachel Dienaar
Vice-President Anne Todd
Vice-President Ella van Tienen
Board representative Rachel Dienaar
Branch President Bruce Elliot
Vice-President Jacqueline Kiel
Vice-President Chris Freeman
Board representative Chris Freeman
Branch President Benjamin Marchant
Vice-President John Jackson
Vice-President Jarrod McMaugh
Board representative Joe Demarte, Michelle Lynch
Western Australia
Branch President Teresa Di Franco
Vice-President Russell Hill
Vice-President Mark Lock
Board representative Jeff Hughes

June 17, 2015
PSA welcomes progress on NSW Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs system

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment to progress implementation of an Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD) system in the State.

In meetings between the NSW Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner, and the President of the NSW Branch of PSA, Dr Stephen Carter, the State Government indicated that the first phase of the ERRCD project, the gathering and input of data, would be completed by around August this year.

The PSA has long advocated for the introduction of such a system to help protect consumers and reduce harm from inappropriate use of some medications.

The Government said it would move to Phase II of the project to test the system before Phase III saw the roll out to pharmacists and doctors.

Dr Carter said Ms Skinner had indicated that the roll out phase was on “the near horizon”.

“It is a credit to the Government that the ERRCD has progressed so quickly to a stage where implementation is now in sight,” Dr Carter said.

“This is a massive project and the logistics around development and implementation in a State the size of NSW have been formidable but the Government has maintained it commitment to this very important project.”

Dr Carter said the ERRCD would take existing systems a step further.

“This system is designed as a holistic response to a significant health issue and the ERRCD will help improve the health outcomes of consumers across the State,” Dr Carter said.

“Initially it is targeting drugs of addiction, or Schedule 8 drugs, but PSA would like to see this extended to include other drugs where inappropriate use may be a problem.

“This could include over-the-counter medications containing codeine over which concerns have been raised recently.”

Dr Carter said PSA looked forward to working closely with the Government and NSW Health to progress Phase II and Phase III.


June 16, 2015
PSA and NAPSA re-sign Memorandum of Understanding

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding which aims to further develop the strong working relationships between the two organisations.

The purpose of the MOU seeks to ensure that pharmacy students are well supported and their interests are well represented. It also endeavours to provide the basis for ongoing support in the pharmacy profession after students graduate from university.

The main objectives of the MOU include to:

  • offer NAPSA members professional development opportunities through the PSA
  • assist NAPSA Executive in the efficient administration of the organisation
  • assist NAPSA in accessing PSA products and services
  • increase uptake and promotion of PSA and NAPSA student membership.
  • promote collaborative arrangements and exchange of information on specific mutually agreed issues.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the re-signing of the MOU for a further two years was a significant development in the ongoing growth of relations between PSA and NAPSA.

“The continuing relationship between PSA and NAPSA recognises the pharmacists of the future, and the pharmacy leaders of the future, as well as the role PSA can play in building their careers and practices,” Mr Kardachi said.

“Over many years now the relationship between PSA and NAPSA has grown and developed into one which is of great benefit to the profession as a whole.”

Sam Turner, National President of NAPSA, said NAPSA was proud to continue its longstanding relationship with the PSA.

“For many years the PSA has played a pivotal role in supporting students through their engagement with NAPSA and throughout their career pathways” Mr Turner said.

“This ongoing partnership is especially significant given the challenges we are currently seeing in the profession and the changing environment in which pharmacists work. We look forward to working with PSA to develop better pharmacists for the future.”

June 16, 2015
Auslan interpreter for PSA15

Selected sessions at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s new concept in educational conferences – PSA 15 – will feature an Auslan interpreter to enable deaf and hearing impaired people get the most out of this innovative conference.

PSA 15 incorporates the best of PSA’s previous key onshore conferences – CPExpo and PAC.

The result is a fresh and innovative approach to pharmacy conferences moving into the future.

PSA has taken on board the needs of industry and the needs of members, to arrive at a formula to deliver results for everyone – sponsors, industry and delegates.

The use of an Auslan interpreter reflects this commitment to give delegates the best possible conference experience.

The following sessions will be signed:


  • Implementing Profitable Services and 6CPA
  • Pharmacists Prescribing
  • Pharmacists as Diabetes Educators
  • New roles in aged care
  • Hospital in the home


  • Pharmacogenomics: the future of individualised treatment
  • Pharmacist only integrative medicine
  • What’s new: a review of the latest medicine
  • Menace to medicine: the medicinal use of cannabis
  • Travel health
  • Biologics Vs Biosimilars
  • Closing plenary on HDP

PSA15 will be held at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, 31 July – 2 August 2015. Further details and registrations are available at

The theme of Leading Pharmacy Innovation will provide unrivalled diversity in clinical education with accredited sessions and interactive workshops delivered by key opinion leaders and clinical experts.

June 15, 2015
National Rural health conference supports PSA’s call for more pharmacists in Aboriginal Health Services

Rural healthcare professionals have supported PSA’s Budget submission in calling on the Australian Government to urgently address the lack of medication management and pharmacy services in rural and remote areas.

Delegates at the 13th Rural Health conference in Darwin said addressing this area of need had to be a priority for the healthcare system.

One of the 10 priority recommendations to emerge from the conference was: “The Commonwealth Government to fund clinical pharmacy positions in Aboriginal health services to oversee the delivery of the S100 Remote Area Aboriginal Health Service Program.”

The recommendation was supported by the 1,200 delegates at the conference which had a strong focus on improving health and social equity in rural and remote Australia.

Delegates were encouraged after each plenary and concurrent session to put forward recommendations which were then considered and voted on by other delegates.

The 18 most popular recommendations now form the advocacy priorities for the National Rural Health Alliance.

National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said the recommendation was one of the two main recommendations in PSA’s budget submission and also was raised in PSA’s 6CPA discussion paper.

He said this model is fully supported by the PSA which is committed to improving health delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and all communities in rural and remote areas of Australia.

“The reality is that rural and remote areas of Australia still suffer from a disproportionately low number of health services being available to meet the needs of patients,” he said.

“PSA has long advocated for the Government to take steps to address this issue”. Mr Kardachi said increasing the number of pharmacists in rural and remote areas, and in the Aboriginal Health Service Program would be a significant step in improving health outcomes in these communities.

“Pharmacists are ideally placed to play a more significant role in managing these conditions within the community and to identify those most at risk,” he said.

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