1. Pharmacists welcome new pain management service
January 25, 2018
Pharmacists have welcomed a new $20 million trial by the Federal Government to support people suffering from ongoing chronic pain, the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said today.
Launched by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt in Melbourne, the Pain MedsCheck program will be delivered in a partnership between PSA and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia through community pharmacies across Australia.
Through the Pain MedsCheck program, a pharmacist will evaluate and review a patient’s medicine through face-to-face consultations. They will review medication and analgesic use and develop a written action plan, incorporating education, self-management and referral to doctors or other experts where additional support is required. The trial is aimed at patients with on-going chronic pain of three or more months.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said: “PSA applauds the Federal Health Minister for funding and supporting this new trial, which is strongly supported by Australia’s pharmacy profession.
“Pharmacists in the community are already available to provide advice on pain management and the safe and effective use of medicines. Pharmacists have also noted they are frequently concerned about patients whose pain is not being adequately controlled and who may be using medications inappropriately.”
Dr Jackson said PSA welcomed this new opportunity for pharmacists to be funded to spend extra time with patients to review and discuss some of these concerns.
“Noting the issues that organisations such as Painaustralia have highlighted regarding the issue of chronic pain in Australia, this service gives community pharmacists the opportunity to improve pain management of patients with chronic pain,” Dr Jackson said.
“Community pharmacists advising patients on the safe and optimal use of medicines in managing their pain, or referring patients for a more detailed investigation by their GP we expect will result in better care for Australians.
“PSA looks forward to developing Standards and Guidelines for the Pain MedsCheck service for the profession, along with delivering education and resources to support the service.”
2. Exceptional pharmacists receive Australia Day honours
January 29, 2018
Pharmacists Terry Irvine, Julie Griffin MPS and Gerry McInerney FPS have been congratulated by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) for receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
The three NSW-based pharmacists were presented with medals during the Australia Day celebrations over the weekend for their services to the pharmacy profession and the community.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson applauded the pharmacists’ innovation and commitment to excellence in healthcare.
“I sincerely congratulate Ms Griffin, Mr Irvine and Mr McInerney for their lifelong dedication to pharmacy and their support of PSA,” Dr Jackson said.
“Their diligence and compassion set a wonderful example for other members of our profession and point to a bright future for pharmacy in Australia.”
Mr Irvine from Bermagui NSW was a Foundation Councillor of PSA from 1977 to 1983, playing a significant role in uniting Australia’s pharmaceutical societies into the peak national pharmacy organisation.
He has been a pharmacist since the 1950s, owning pharmacies in Darwin and Cobargo NSW, as well as serving on the Pharmacy Board of NT, local Rotary Clubs and as a Member of the Darwin City Council Planning Committee.
Ms Griffin from Westleigh NSW, who worked as a pharmacist at Thornleigh Chemmart Pharmacy from 1983 to 2010, was honoured for her service to women and the community. In addition to her pharmacy career, she has made significant contributions to the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter, the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Domestic Violence Network, and Soroptimist International.
Mr McInerney from Kiama NSW received the OAM in recognition of his community service work as well as his dedication to the pharmacy profession. A pharmacist since 1962, he was proprietor of McInerney’s Pharmacy Kiama from 1970 to 2007 and co-proprietor of Priceline Pharmacy Kiama from 2007 until his retirement in 2013.
He became a Fellow of PSA in 2011 and received the PSA NSW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. He has also held a range of positions on the Pharmacy Board of New South Wales, the Pharmacy Board of Australia and the Illawarra Pharmacists’ Association.
3. Consultation begins on My Health Record Guidelines
January 29, 2018
Consultation has started on the My Health Record Guidelines for Pharmacists developed by the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
The Guidelines provide guidance to pharmacists on meaningful clinical use of the My Health Record system.
By the end of 2018, all Australians will have a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one.
Pharmacists have a professional responsibility to review their practice and, where necessary, build on their digital health competency to ensure they are ready to integrate use of the My Health Record system into patient care.
During the public consultation, PSA welcomes comments from interested individuals and organisations including members of the pharmacy profession as well as consumers, other health professional groups and practitioners, educators, researchers and government bodies.
Consultation will be open until Tuesday 20 February 2018.
Any queries regarding this consultation can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. New online training to support people who use drugs
January 30, 2018
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
A new online training module designed to enhance communication and understanding between people who use drugs and pharmacists has been developed by the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) and released in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
The ‘Normal Day’ learning module is a six-part podcast series featuring interviews with pharmacists as well as GPs, researchers, emergency room physicians and GP receptionists and people who use drugs, providing unique insights and rarely heard perspectives on the clinical relationship.
The podcast conversations follow the experience of a patient who uses drugs renewing a prescription and focus on the challenges and misunderstandings that often occur within the health relationship. The conversations are complemented by resources that pharmacists can incorporate into their practice.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said, “With increased demand for new hepatitis C virus treatments, pharmacist understanding of the issues faced by people who use drugs and confidence in working with these communities becomes even more important.”
AIVL Director of Programs and Communications James Dunne said, “We know that for many people who use drugs, because of the stigmas towards drug use, interacting with health professionals, such as pharmacists, can oftentimes be a nerve-wracking and unpleasant experience.
“This causes delays in accessing support for health issues or not addressing them at all. What we want with ‘A Normal Day’ is for these health interactions to be just that – normal, everyday, uneventful experiences.”
PSA is the peak national body for Australian pharmacists working in all practice settings.
AIVL is the national organisation representing people who use/have used illicit drugs and is the peak body for the state and territory peer-based drug user organisations.
5. Pharmacists welcome landmark National Asthma Strategy
January 31, 2018
Pharmacists have welcomed the launch of the National Asthma Strategy to reduce the health, social and economic impacts of asthma, the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) said today.
Launched by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt MP in Melbourne today, the Strategy informs how healthcare resources can be better coordinated across all levels of government.
The Strategy outlines five objectives with potential areas for action to reduce the impact of this widespread chronic condition, which affects more than 2.5 million people in Australia.
PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said PSA has valued the opportunity to contribute to this Strategy and supports the principles that underpin it: equity, collaboration and partnerships, access, evidence-based, person-centred approaches, sustainability, accountability and transparency, and shared responsibility.
“PSA applauds the Health Minister for launching this new plan, which is strongly supported by Australia’s pharmacy profession,” said Dr Jackson.
“PSA supports the objectives of self-management, best practice asthma care, integration of the health system, supportive community environments, and improved research, evidence and data.”
Dr Jackson said that in areas such as self-management, pharmacists play a key role in supporting patients to manage their asthma in an optimal way. Awareness campaigns can also be undertaken at community pharmacies to enhance self-management activities.
“PSA also looks forward to working jointly on programs that support health professionals including pharmacists to promote best practice asthma care and adherence to guidelines. Pharmacists are well placed to identify gaps in the care of patients with asthma and then support them to have appropriate therapy instituted.
“Developing new and innovative roles for pharmacists in the delivery of asthma care to close the gap between the best available evidence and clinical practice should be a high priority.”
PSA collaborated with the National Asthma Council in 2017 to deliver education and practice resources on thunderstorm asthma to raise awareness of this important health topic in the pharmacy sector.
The Strategy was developed by the National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) in partnership with Asthma Australia, with input from stakeholders including PSA and with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.