1. New Pharmacy House landmark launched by Assistant Minister
March 21, 2018
A new, state-of-the-art building designed to be a modern pharmacy and healthcare hub was officially launched in Canberra today by Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Senator Zed Seselja for the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
The purpose-built Pharmacy House – supported by donations from pharmacist members and organisations – will enable PSA to better represent pharmacists and pursue its vision of improving Australia’s health through excellence in pharmacist care.
Located in Deakin and close to Parliament House, the building is a unique concept incorporating pharmacists’ needs into a modern office specifically designed to ensure PSA continues to provide the best services, education and advocacy for members regardless of where they are located.
During the historic ceremony attended by around 120 people, Senator Seselja unveiled a plaque with PSA leaders to mark the official launch of Pharmacy House.
Senator Seselja also toured the building to view a display of historical pharmacy artefacts and a members’ lounge.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said the impressive building honoured PSA’s past achievements and embodied the future for all pharmacists in Australia.
“Pharmacy House is more than just a building; it’s part of a drive into the future for all pharmacists, who are the most accessible healthcare professionals in Australia,” Dr Jackson said.
“This landmark building is owned by PSA members, for PSA members. We hope it will inspire all pharmacists to strive to be the best pharmacist they can be in their area of practice!
“I sincerely thank all of the pharmacists and supporters who have donated towards the building fund, which raised around $300,000 – we sincerely appreciate your generosity and support. Importantly, the name Pharmacy House has been retained and the location is on the site of the original Pharmacy House built in 1984, which was also supported by member donations.”
Some of the main facilities of the new office include:
- A multi-functional members’ lounge where pharmacists can meet and network
- Special display of historical pharmacy artefacts donated and gifted to PSA with some dating back more than a century
- A library and other user-friendly clinical resources area
- All donations have been recognised on plaques, honour boards, a special “Word Cloud” and an electronic donor board inside Pharmacy House.
2. Influenza vaccinations critical for boosting herd immunity
March 26, 2018
Australians should be immunised against influenza annually as building herd immunity is critical for protecting local communities, the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said today.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said people were getting vaccinated by authorised vaccinators, including pharmacists, as soon as possible to protect themselves from influenza.
“Trained pharmacists play an important role in contributing to improved vaccination coverage,” Dr Jackson said.
“Pharmacists should inform patients the high-strength trivalent vaccine is the recommended vaccine available on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for patients aged 65 and over.
“As per the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advice, if people still choose to vaccinate through their community pharmacy, PSA acknowledges the ATAGI advice that a quadrivalent vaccine can be used for these patients.”
However Dr Jackson said given the prime focus for people not eligible for vaccination under NIP is to increase herd immunity, it’s important for them to make appointments for vaccinations as soon as is convenient.
“For some people, not vaccinating them when they present to a pharmacy puts people at risk of not being vaccinated at all and subsequently contracting influenza.
As health care professionals, pharmacists should be encouraging people to be immunised against influenza to build herd immunity in local communities.
“You often only get one shot to vaccinate and un-necessary delays may reduce the opportunity for vaccination.”
Dr Jackson said vaccination timing was important as influenza was at its peak between July to September and the influenza vaccination has peak immunity three to four months after immunisation.
“This would place the ideal time for vaccination from late April to May, especially for those at high-risk of influenza.
Patients who are not eligible for the NIP vaccinations should be encouraged to make appointments for vaccinations as soon as is convenient,” Dr Jackson said.
PSA is concerned about advice from medical organisations informing patients to delay vaccination, will undermine the world class effort that Australia is attempting to undertake in improving vaccination rates.
“It’s simply not practical to expect the vaccinator workforce to vaccinate all people during May and June simply because this is considered ‘the most ideal timing’. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for the timing of vaccinations. For many, the risk of not being vaccinated at all outweighs timing that is not considered as ideal.”
PSA has urged the Federal Government to remunerate pharmacists who deliver immunisation services through the NIP in line with other health care professionals such as nurses and GPs to broaden immunisation coverage and avoid community confusion.
In relation to vaccine availability, PSA stressed the high strength trivalent vaccine should be available through community pharmacy and urged the Government and the pharmaceutical company to provide access on the private market and not create disparity in care for individuals who choose to be vaccinated by a pharmacist.
“This certainly should be a consideration in coming years, if not available this year,” Dr Jackson said.