PSA Media Releases – 1. Pharmacy Shark Tank finalists to take the plunge 2. Pharmacists and GPs must work together for the best patient outcomes 3. New training for pharmacists to re-enter the profession 4. New PSA Early Career Pharmacist Director to focus on the future

1. Pharmacy Shark Tank finalists to take the plunge
July 2, 2018

PSA has announced the three finalists who will pitch their innovative pharmacy idea or product to the Pharmacy Shark Tank at PSA18 for a chance to share in a $10,000 prize pool.

Pharmacists and researchers from across the country submitted applications for the Pharmacy Shark Tank, but only three will face the sharks in front of a live audience:

  • Professor Lyndal Trevena (NSW), representing a team of researchers from Sydney whose innovation will potentially eliminate future medicine dose errors
  • Michelle Cassumbhoy MPS and Carson Au MPS (VIC), whose unique product aims to help cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy
  • Samuel Keitaanpaa MPS (NT), whose innovation tackles medicine supply issues.

After the finalists have presented their case and fielded questions from the sharks and audience, each shark will reveal which idea they’ve chosen to invest in.

The crowd favourite will also be granted the People’s Choice Award.

The winners can use their prize money to bring their groundbreaking ideas to life.

Representing the cutting edge of the industry, the sharks include a pharmacy thought leader and researcher, a strategist, and a healthcare innovator and influencer.

Delegates can watch the action as the finalists walk the plank at the Pharmacy Shark Tank Session at PSA18 on Friday 27 July at 2.00 – 3.30 pm.

PSA18 is the flagship conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the peak national body for pharmacists.

The conference will take place from 27 to 29 July 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Sydney.

Register now at

2. Pharmacists and GPs must work together for the best patient outcomes
July 2, 2018

As long as there is a turf war over who delivers patient care, patients will suffer, PSA said today.

The RACGP’s attack on pharmacy health checks does not take into account the fact that these services are within a pharmacist’s scope of practice and build on the accessibility of the community pharmacy network.

As long as the services are delivered according to the pharmacy profession’s standard for screening and risk assessment, PSA as the peak national body for pharmacists supports the provision of these services within community pharmacy.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said, “Countless pharmacies across the country have excellent working relationships with their local GPs.

“As readily accessible healthcare professionals, pharmacists are many patients’ first port of call. Pharmacists use health checks to refer patients who are potentially at risk to a GP, when those patients might otherwise avoid or delay doing so.”

Dr Jackson said the Coroner’s Findings from the recent inquest into the death of a Victorian patient demonstrated the importance of the relationship between doctors and pharmacists.

According to the coroner, “Doctors and pharmacists should trust and respect each other, whilst retaining their independence.

“Similarly, whilst pharmacists should respect the doctor-patient relationship, they should not underestimate their own importance in the delivery of health care.”

Dr Jackson said, “We cannot afford to ignore this call for GPs and pharmacists to continue building respectful working relationships.

“We urge the RACGP to put aside such misdirected professional rivalries and focus on collaborating to improve Australia’s health.

3. New training for pharmacists to re-enter the profession
June 27, 2018

Pharmacists seeking to re-enter the profession after a period of extended leave will now be better equipped thanks to the latest course offered by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

When returning from an extended break from practice, pharmacists can earn up to 74 Group 2 CPD points in PSA’s Pharmacy Re-entry course, which provides clinical, legislative and practice updates to support their return to the profession.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said the course includes online learning and a two-day workshop offered nationally, along with tailored support from a PSA pharmacist.

“The course structure is very flexible so pharmacists can fit it around work and family commitments,” Dr Jackson said.

“If you’ve been on an extended break such as parental leave, overseas travel or work in another sector, this course will support you to get up-to-speed and re-enter the workforce.”

After successfully completing the course, pharmacists will be better equipped to return to the profession and undertake the exams should the requirement for assessment of competence be issued by the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

The Pharmacy Re-entry course is only available to members of PSA, the peak national body for pharmacists.

The course is open to non-Australian pharmacists and will cover the legislative exam, but some overseas pharmacists will need to complete an accredited intern training program.

Members can enrol online at or email for more information

4. New PSA Early Career Pharmacist Director to focus on the future
June 25, 2018

High-achieving pharmacist Lauren Burton’s appointment as the new Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) Director of the peak national body for pharmacists, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA), reaffirms the Board’s commitment to the future of the profession, PSA said today.

Ms Burton’s appointment, effective from 1 July 2018, follows the retirement of the Board’s first ECP Director Taren Gill, who has completed her term as an ECP.

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson and Vice Presidents Michelle Lynch and Dr Chris Freeman were also re-elected to the National Board from 1 July 2018, demonstrating the Board’s stability at a time when the organisation is implementing many exciting initiatives to improve the role and recognition of pharmacists in healthcare.

Dr Jackson said he was delighted to welcome Ms Burton to the National Board, and sincerely thanked Ms Gill for her service.

“Taren’s appointment as the first ECP Director two years ago was an historic milestone for PSA. She has worked tirelessly to support ECPs across the country, and led PSA’s strategy to meet the future needs of the profession with ground-breaking initiatives such as the ECP White Paper,” Dr Jackson said.

“PSA recognises the importance of diversity on our Board and Lauren will continue to lead our strong focus on ECPs.

“Lauren is a talented and deeply passionate pharmacist and I am confident she will make a fantastic contribution to the Board. Her extensive experience in a range of pharmacy roles will help ensure PSA’s strategy meets the needs of Australia’s ECPs so they can be confident in the bright future ahead.”

Ms Burton has significant experience in community and hospital pharmacy, more recently in roles involving project-based work, clinical pharmacy and dispensary services as a member of the Pharmacy Department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth WA. She also has experience in reviewing and informing legislation as well as government and hospital policies.

“As part of PSA’s White Paper Working Group, I have heard our members and developed an in-depth understanding of the key issues facing ECPs,” Ms Burton said.

“I am passionate about improving awareness of the role of the pharmacist as part of a healthcare team and believe this will enable the progression of key initiatives for expanding our role as medicines management experts.

“I intend to ensure the issues discussed and recommendations put forward in the ECP White Paper continue to frame conversations around how PSA and its networks can best support pharmacists now and into the future.

“Our members have shown their support and appreciation for the role Taren Gill has played as ECP Director over the past two years. I have been lucky enough to get to know Taren during this time and have seen the positive influence her passion, leadership and commitment have had on so many within our profession.

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