PSA Media Releases – 1. Career program empowers pharmacists to maximise their potential 2. Pharmacists can help to Close the Gap 3. Harnessing the power of pharmacists to decrease smoking

1. Career program empowers pharmacists to maximise their potential
February 12, 2018


new program to empower pharmacists develop their leadership skills has been developed by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) in partnership with Pharmaceutical Defence Ltd (PDL).
The Career Essentials Program will deliver a range of online modules and workshops to help pharmacy students, interns and pharmacists develop their non-clinical skills to make a real difference in care and outcomes.
The program focuses on the areas of Be work ready, Communicate effectively, Working together and Leading the way.
The program is modularised to support development from student to leader and can be tailored for an individual, depending on the stage of their career.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said the program allowed pharmacists to gain practical and up-to-date knowledge and skills to maximise their career potential.

“These non-clinical skills are vital because they enhance pharmacists’ ability to deliver quality health outcomes for patients,” Dr Jackson said.

“The Career Essentials Program supports pharmacists to be work ready, work collaboratively, communicate effectively and become a leader in their profession.”

PDL CEO David Brown said: “PDL is a proud supporter of the Career Essentials Program.
We are passionate supporters of education around risk minimisation in the pharmacy, which is an extension of the incident support service we offer to pharmacists and the complimentary cover we offer to interns and students.”

The Career Essentials Program is free and exclusive for PSA members. Online modules are now available on PSA’s website and workshop dates will be released soon.

The program is set to evolve in the next year with new topics added to further support leadership development in every pharmacy setting.

Further information:

2. Pharmacists can help to Close the Gap
February 9, 2018

Having a national approach for integrating non-dispensing pharmacists into Aboriginal Health Services (AHS) will help to Close the Gap for Indigenous Australians, the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said today.
The call follows the release of a major report card on Indigenous health in Canberra yesterday, called Close the Gap 2018, highlighting “Australian governments have not yet succeeded in closing the health gap to date, and why they will not succeed by 2030 if the current course continues.”

PSA is developing an evidenced-based primary care and funding model for the integration of practice pharmacists to boost health outcomes to achieve health equality between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said having a culturally-responsive practice pharmacist integrated within an AHS builds better relationships between patients and staff, leading to improved results in chronic disease management and Quality Use of Medicines (QUM).

“The integration of 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 help to Close the Gap,” Dr Jackson said.

In July last year, the Federal Government announced an innovative new trial to support Aboriginal health organisations to integrate pharmacists into their services.

In partnership with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and James Cook University (JCU), PSA has developed a trial that aims to improve culturally appropriate services specifically of access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and further demonstrate the fundamental role that pharmacists play in primary health care, strengthening the future for all pharmacists and contributing to better health outcomes.

A national ACCHO Pharmacist Leadership Group has also been established 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.

The leadership group has been developed to engage with and support pharmacists working in Indigenous health and to inform PSA’s education and policy agenda.  To find out more, contact

3. Harnessing the power of pharmacists to decrease smoking
February 7, 2018


Only 10% of surveyed pharmacists (n=58) report customers ‘often’ asking about quitting
Ninety percent of pharmacists surveyed said they succeeded in their efforts to influence a person’s smoking

Quit Victoria and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) are today joining forces to tap into the power of pharmacists to increase the number of people quitting successfully. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Victoria, and 80% of smokers report wanting to kick their deadly addiction. However, fewer than one in five use therapies that have been proven to help people quit.

“Pharmacists are highly respected in the community and could play an even bigger role in helping smokers to quit,” said Director of Quit Victoria Dr Sarah White. “International research has shown there are good strategies for improving quitting conversations, such as displaying resources to trigger interested customers to inquire about quitting methods. This partnership has been designed to not only provide pharmacists with new tools to help their customers, but also to alert customers that pharmacists have a lot to offer when it comes to increasing the chances they can quit successfully.”

PSA Victorian Branch President Ben Marchant said the partnership with Quit Victoria would assist pharmacists across Victoria to provide even better care and advice. “A lot of patients don’t understand that some prescription medications and some common health conditions, such as diabetes or wound healing, are adversely affected by tobacco use. This focus on the pharmacist’s role in quitting will help patients understand why it is so critical pharmacists ask about smoking, and demonstrate how pharmacists can do so much more than simply hand over patches or gum.”

Quit Victoria and PSA recently surveyed pharmacists and found that almost 90% felt they have succeeded in their efforts to influence a person’s smoking, but their advice is often not sought by their customers.

“Pharmacists are frontline primary health professionals who have firsthand experience and knowledge of the impact of smoking on health, but only 10% of pharmacists report customers ‘often’ asking about quitting,” said Dr White. “We’d like to see the number of those supportive, powerful conversations in the pharmacy increasing substantially.”

The survey of pharmacists also revealed:

90% of pharmacists believe supporting smokers to quit is part of their job as they are in an ideal position to give smokers the practical, evidence-based information they need to quit for good.

Pharmacists decide to provide customers who smoke tobacco with assistance to stop smoking primarily if the customer requests it (95%), is purchasing smoking cessation products (95%) or if the customer has a smoking-related illness (78%).

Six in 10 pharmacists say a public education campaign encouraging people who smoke to talk to their pharmacist would make them more likely to approach customers with quitting advice.

The partnership will include:

Co-development of in-pharmacy materials such as signage, information and referral mechanism with pharmacists

Free training across metro and regional Victoria – for CPD (Group 2 with potential to upgrade to Group 3) commencing in June

Public education campaign to encourage consumers to talk to their pharmacist about quitting.

PSA is the peak national professional pharmacy organisation representing Australia’s 30,000 pharmacists working in all sectors and across all locations.

Quit Victoria is a partnership between VicHealth, Cancer Council Victoria, the State Government of Victoria and the Heart Foundation.

About the survey: In January 2018, Quit Victoria asked 58 Victorian pharmacists about their attitudes, perceptions and behaviours towards discussing quitting smoking with customers via an online survey.


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